forgot to take an "after" shot, but here's the pesto dough, post-first rise, after deflation
Pesto… Mmmm… Conjures up images of the good kind of Italian restaurants — the kinds that give a pesto concoction to dip bread into rather than marinara. The goal this week was to create a challah that would take you back to those magical days before calorie and carb counting were on your radar, and you could actually enjoy a trip to an Italian restaurant (Fettuccine Alfredo Challah would be the appropriate accompaniment on that fantasy).
The first challenge I faced was finding pareve (non-dairy) pesto, since we want to keep these challahs as “shabbat dinner-friendly” as possible. Pesto is expensive enough as it so… Trying to find a Kosher, pareve version would be the financial ruin of this hobby. So, I did as any resourceful wannabe chef would do — I looked up a pesto recipe and cut out the cheese. I made the pesto out of fresh basil, olive oil, garlic and walnuts (pine nuts were also crazy expensive). Put them all in a cup and took the hand blender to them.
Pesto Challah, simply put, is the normal challah recipe with around eight heaping tablespoons of non-dairy, homemade pesto! That’s it!
Such a simple recipe… such simple elegance. As I ate it, I could picture the Chianti bottle with the candle sticking out the top. It was like dipping challah in a smooth and rich pesto sauce. Not overpowering, but also not as understated as some of the other flavors I’ve made. Non c’è male!