Pesto Goes East – Shiso Pesto

My surviving green shiso plant (the red leaf plant died seedless) flowered and I made the mistake of NOT saving any of the seeds for the spring but shook them all into one pot. Long story short, I ended up with four crowded pots of shiso plants. The plants are leggy with huge leaves that I couldn’t figure out what to do with. So I went net surfing and ran across a genius idea on “Summer Tomato” … treat the shiso leaves like you would those from basil or mint plants and make pesto.

Creamy Pesto Shrimp Alfredo over Home Made Fettuccine Pasta

Instead of Parmesan cheese, the blogger suggested miso for its salty umami flavour. I used red miso, cause I had run out of the white, and instead of pistachio nuts, I used equal parts of pine nuts and roasted, salted sunflower seeds.

Creamy Pesto Alfredo Shrimp over Fettuccine – serves 2

150 gm fresh fettuccine pasta

8-10 raw large shrimp, seasoned with salt, white pepper and garlic powder

Creamy Pesto Sauce

1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oi
3 tbsp pesto (basil or shiso)
6 tbsp whipping cream
salt, to taste

Fresh pasta cooked for 2 1/2 minutes in a large pot of boiling salted water. Drained, rinsed with cold water.

In a large saute pan, heat up the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Cook the shrimp until pink on both sides and starting to curl up. Remove to a small bowl.

Add the whipping cream and pesto to the same saute pan that you cooked the shrimp in. Simmer for a couple of minutes, add drained pasta and stir through. Taste for seasoning and add salt, if needed.

Serve immediately with shrimp on top.

Seeing if I can root some miso cuttings on a sunny kitchen window. (PS: I have long roots now … I should really plant them. But WHERE?)

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4 thoughts on “Pesto Goes East – Shiso Pesto

  1. What an interesting take on pesto, I love it! When we were in Illinois, we met up with Chgo John and drove out to Celi (kitchen’s garden) for lunch, she made an incredibly delicious pesto from nasturtium leaves.

    1. The pesto turned out well … that fresh ‘green-ness’ was there with a bit of subtle note from the miso paste. Next time, I’d probably add more miso as mine isn’t very salty which is what I was afraid of.

  2. It looks very nice, but I have once made a shiso pesto and I didn’t like it (it was with miso too). I don’t remember why…. maybe because I haven’t added cream when I ate it? It was too “grassy” I think.
    I have several shiso recipes if you still look for something new… I usually make different shiso and meat rolls.

    1. I know what you mean about ‘grassy’ tasting. I think you can mix it with basil and stretch the amount. Fresh basil is very pricey to buy in the grocery stores locally. Thank you. I’ll check out other shiso recipes on your site.

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