It’s a good practice to zest citrus–especially lemons, limes, and oranges–before using or eating them. Store them individually in the freezer for future recipes.

a 6-1/2 oz jar or can of artichoke hearts, marinated or not
1 – 2 T reserved marinade from artichokes or 1 – 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
2 T lemon juice
1/2 t lemon zest
4 scallions, chopped
2 c loosely packed cilantro
1/2 small fresh green chile pepper, (jalapeno), seeded, roughly chopped, optional
salt and pepper, to taste
extra-virgin olive oil, if necessary
1/4 c pine nuts, almonds or cashews
2 T grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese, optional

1. Drain artichokes, reserving marinade. Taste marinade–if you don’t like the flavor, use 1 to 2 T extra virgin olive oil. If artichokes were packed in a water solution, then you’ll need to use the olive oil. Rinse artichokes, if desired, then roughly chop.

2. Place artichokes, marinade or olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, scallions, cilantro, and green chile, if using, in a food processor and puree until smooth. Scrape down sides of bowl, then add salt and pepper to taste as well as additional olive oil if mixture seems a little stiff. Process again. Taste for seasonings. Add nuts and buzz for another 5 to 10 seconds–the nuts should be slightly chunky in the smooth puree.

3. If you like you can add the grated cheese, or save it for sprinkling on top of of whatever food you are having with the pesto–pasta or bread, for example.