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.
My kids gave me an Instant Pot for Mother’s Day. Both passionate cooks, they told me they couldn’t imagine life without the contraption. But, to be honest, I rolled my eyes when opening the box—the last thing I need is another kitchen gadget cluttering my counters. That’s until I spied a yogurt button on the panel. I can make … Full recipe post »
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 »
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