Monday, January 21, 2013

Recipe ReDux: Pesto Popcorn

It's that time again...the first Recipe ReDux post of 2013! This month's theme is all about food trends of the new year. It's always exciting to see new food trends unfold, so I loved the idea of exploring what's on the horizon in 2013 and creating a dish inspired by one of them. Guess what hot new trend you can expect this year?

Oh yes. Popcorn.

According to SRG's 10 Cutting-Edge Dining Trends of 2013, sour foods will trickle onto menus, Asian flavors will influence American comfort food, veggie main dishes will see the spotlight (I hope this one comes true), and popcorn will be the favorite snack of 2013.

Popcorn isn't exactly a new snack, but when I saw it would be the hottest snack this year, I was sold on creating a gourmet version with some seriously amped up flavor.

When I was a little kid, I had a friend whose mom used to make parmesan basil popcorn on weekends, and that memory came floating back to me last week when making snacks for the playoff games. Pesto-inspired popcorn laden with garlic, fresh basil, olive oil and parmesan cheese...I mean really, what's not to love? While jarred parmesan cheese certainly has its uses, this is one place you really want to use freshly grated - the fresh parmesan cheese has a great salty bite, and it also melts a little when you add it to the hot popcorn.

I won't lie and tell you this is a 100-calorie snack - hello butter and cheese - but with portion control, it's not as bad as you might think (around 250 calories a serving). And it's for a special occasion. Like the Superbowl, or an awards show party, or a Friday night movie after a super long work week. ;-) You might want to have a few other people around when you make it though...Matt and I were the only two people here and we devoured the bowl in seconds. We literally could not stop until every last kernel was gone. It's really that good.

Scroll down below to check out other ReDuxers' adaptations of 2013 foodie trends. There are some goodies in there!

Pesto Popcorn

Serves 6

1/2 cup popcorn kernels
2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 Tbsp. butter
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 cup packed basil leaves, chopped
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 tsp. salt

Using an air popper, pop the corn kernels and set aside.

In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil and butter together over medium-low heat. Add minced garlic and cook slowly for about 4 minutes, until fragrant (do not brown). Turn heat to low and add basil. Heat for 1 minute more, then remove from heat.

Pour the butter/garlic mixture over the popcorn and toss to coat. Then add parmesan cheese and salt, and toss again to coat. Serve and enjoy!

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  1. I am a sucker for pesto and popcorn is my fav snack. I will not think twice before devouring the whole bowl or two alone :) what a delicious idea- i am excited for what popcorn flavors will be in market this year!

    1. I hope you like it! It sure was a hit in my house :)

  2. Oh yummy! I eat popcorn at least twice a week and it's time to jazz it up. Look forward to trying this one out (and super cool blue nails, BTW!)

  3. What a great way to make popcorn even more yummy :)

  4. I love pesto and I love popcorn - never thought about combining the two! Great idea! Can't wait to try.