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September 15, 2011

I have made a lot of pesto this summer, thanks to a great basil plant I picked up at the farmer’s market…It’s still doing well on my kitchen table and it looks like I’ll be able to get one more batch out of it soon.  Pesto is easy to make, even without a food processor.  I use a suribachi, which is a Japanese mortar and pestle.  This main pesto recipe is from Alice Water’s The Art of Simple Food.

In a mortar and pestle, pound a peeled garlic clove and some salt to a paste.

Add 1/4 toasted walnuts (or pine nuts, but I prefer walnuts)

and 1/4 grated parmesan cheese and keep pounding. Then put this mixture in a bowl.

Put about 1 cup chopped fresh basil in the mortar and pound it to a paste. Then add the nut/cheese mixture back in and pound it all together.

Gradually pour in 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil as you keep pounding. Add salt to taste.

You can also use different herbs and cheese.  Parsley is a good substitute for some of the basil. Or you could use pecorino cheese with the parmesan.  Here’s another variation that I tried:

Mint Pesto with Feta and Eggplant

I didn’t care for the boiled eggplant part of this dish, so I won’t bother typing those instructions, but for the pesto, just use mint and parsley instead of the basil.  I tried it with parmesan and with feta and both were good.  Sprinkle with some extra walnuts when serving.  This would be better with some chicken and maybe some zucchini if you wanted a vegetable…unless you really like boiled eggplant.


From → Pasta and Sauces

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