Thursday, September 1, 2011

A man taking basil from a woman will love her always

If you’re familiar with making pesto you probably use a food processor or blender to mix all the ingredients.  While being tasty, the authentic Italian method imparts more flavor by allowing the individual tastes to come through.

I made this recipe and thought it was delish . . . hubby didn’t like it and said it tasted “too strong”.  That being said, he’s never had pesto before.  It tasted like pesto is supposed to taste . . . only more so!  Yummers.

Chopping all the ingredients by hand is the key because this prevents the ingredients from becoming a completely homogenized emulsion or paste. You will need a good sharp knife and the chopping process will take about 20 minutes. 

The technique is to chop a bit, add some ingredients, chop some more. This helps to create a variance of cut sizes throughout the pesto contributing to the overall texture.

1 Large Bunch of Basil, Leaves Only, Washed And Dried
3 Medium Cloves of Garlic
1 Small Handful of Raw Pine Nuts
1 Cup Parmesan, Loosely Packed And Freshly Grated
A Few Tablespoons of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Start chopping the garlic along with about 1/3 of the basil leaves.

Once this is loosely chopped add more basil, chop some more, add the rest of the basil, chop some more . . . scrape and chop, gather and chop.

At this point the basil and garlic should be a very fine mince.

Add about half the pine nuts, chop. Add the rest of the pine nuts, chop.

Add half of the Parmesan, chop. Add the rest of the Parmesan, and chop.

In the end you want a chop so fine that you can press all the ingredients into a basil "cake".  Transfer the pesto "cake" to a small bowl (not much bigger than the cake). Cover with a few tablespoons of olive oil.

You can set this aside or place it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.

Just before serving give the pesto a quick stir to incorporate some of the oil into the basil. You can thin the pesto with a splash of pasta water for more coverage. 

I served mine with a hearty gnocchi  . . . with a side of bruschetta . . .  it was awesome.

Makes about 1 cup.

No comments:

Post a Comment