Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Original Ligurian pesto


Liguria -the coastal region of Italy that borders with France to the West, Piedmont to the North and Tuscany to the East- has a simple yet satisfying cuisine. The abundance of fish, herbs, olive oil and green vegetables also makes it extremely healthy and perfect to embrace in the summer months.
I know you can buy pesto at the grocery store, but seriously, this is a million times better and if you happen to have a big basil plant it's also much cheaper than the pre-made type. Give it a try and you'll never use the store bought kind again. You can use it to make pasta, but it's also good on grilled fish, charred vegetables and if you mix it with hummus it's perfect for dipping fresh veggies.

PESTO

1 large bunch of basil, leaves only, washed and dried
1 medium cloves of garlic
1 small handful of raw pine nuts
1/2 cup Parmesan
1/2 cup Pecorino Romano

extra-virgin olive oil

If you own an immersion blender use it. It's the easiest way to make pesto.
Place basil, garlic and pine nuts in a bowl and process with immersion blender, slowly adding olive oil until you reach a creamy consistency. Slowly add cheese, processing to blend. Pour in a glass jar and cover with a little olive oil to keep the pesto from discoloring. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

If you don't own an immersion blender you can make it a regular blender, but remember to add an ice cube to the bottom of the blender before you process the basil or the motor will heat the basil and turn it an ugly brown color.

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