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Walnut Biscotti With Thyme Pesto and Goat Cheese

Serves: Makes 4 dozen biscotti and 1 cup of pesto

Ingredients:

Pesto
  • 1/3 cup toasted, slivered almonds
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup (or more) extra virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • ¾ cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 3 medium clove garlic, chopped
  • Coarse salt & cracked black pepper


Biscotti
  • 2½ cups all purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) room temperature unsalted butter, cut in chunks
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup milk
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 cup walnuts, roasted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 egg for egg wash
  • 6 ounces fresh, mild chèvre


Procedures:

Pesto

    Put the almonds, parmesan cheese and the olive oil in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to achieve a pasty texture. Add the thyme leaves, parsley, and garlic and process to a smooth consistency. You may need to add a little extra olive oil if the pesto is too stiff.

    Wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour before you taste for the addition of salt and pepper. It can be served immediately or prepared up to 24 hours in advance.



Biscotti

    Pre heat oven to 350°

    Combine flour, salt, pepper and baking powder. Put this dry mix, and the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle blade. Combine on low speed until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

    In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, olive oil, milk and lemon zest.

    Gradually add the liquid mixture into the dough and mix until just combined. Add the nuts and mix.

    Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board. Grease a baking sheet. Divide the dough into 4 equal balls. Roll each one into a log 1½" by 7". Transfer the logs to the baking sheet and press lightly to slightly flatten.

    Wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

    Brush the logs with the egg wash and bake 30 to 40 minutes until firm. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

    Reduce oven heat to 250°

    Using a serrated knife, slice the logs crosswise on a diagonal, about ¼" thick. Place cut side down on a wire rack set on a baking sheet. Bake for about 40 minutes, turning halfway through cooking. They should be evenly browned and crisp. Cool completely then store in an airtight container up to 1 week.

    To serve; Top each biscotti with a nubbin of chèvre, drizzle with pesto and garnish with a thyme or mint spear.


Recipe courtesy Nicole Aloni, 2008

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