Even the pickiest eaters, or those folks who steer clear of any dish that sounds “foreign”, enjoy this recipe. Perhaps because the name pesto has so morphed into American food nomenclature, some may not know it’s an Italian classic.
Slice shrimp lengthwise through center for better mileage.
Unfortunately much of what’s out there — little jars on grocery shelves, fast-food chains using the name to sell a menu item — bears little resemblance to the scratch-made pestos I adore.
Traditionally pesto is made with a mortar and pestle. The word “pesto” is derived from the Italian “pestare,” a verb that means to pound or crush, but to save time, I use a food processor. Some favorite pestos I’ve used in various recipes include lemony almond-dill pesto, wasabi-cilantro pesto, and an almond, basil, parsley and mint — delicious served with chicken or seafood.
I toast the pine nuts and garlic before incorporating into pesto.
My favorite pesto, when its all said and done, will always be the classic basil-based. I only use freshly harvested basil, Parmigianno Reggiano (meaning that cow that supplied that milk for that cheese did not step one hoof out of the Emilia-Romagna countryside), and the best quality extra virgin olive oil my purse will allow. I take the extra step of toasting the pine nuts and garlic. The garlic flavor sweetens and is less “raw,” and toasting the nuts lends a crunchy earthiness.
If you’re not growing your own basil, you can always find big bags of fresh harvested leaves at the Kerrytown Farmers Market, which are reasonable priced as this time of the year. Make a big batch and freeze the leftovers.
Must pasta insist we default to basil and oregano when seasoning the accompanying sauce? Does Indian cuisine demand we pay homage to proteins with basmati rice, potatoes or Naan? Break free the chains! Particularly now since Al Dente’s latest line of Piccola Pastas have hit market shelves to switch things up. My last post, Pastazanella, was inspired by … Full recipe post »
You’ve heard of panzanella, right? That oh so delicious salad celebrating tomatoes when they’re bursting on the vines–even more handy to have in your recipe repertoire when you’ve a loaf of slightly stale Artisan bread that’s begging to be utilized? But what about Pastazanella? I just made a big batch, and I’m pretty sure you’ve never heard of that. Pastazanella … Full recipe post »
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enticed me to Patagonia. A friend gave me a vial of ground sumac berries--4 months later I was
waking at dawn to the "Call To Prayer" in Turkey. Porcini to Tuscany, and so on. Read more about my chronicles of
trips and favorite associated recipes. Browse my travel recipes...
Here are ideas gleaned from others that speak to me;
where I highlight projects that bring friends, neighborhoods, and communities together. For me,
complimentary food makes the project and event more fun. Browse my projects and related recipes...