Monday, 27 December 2010

"Chunky" Walnut Basil Pesto

I really want a food processor, then I can start making more of my own dips and sauces and spice pastes. But today I was watching a video of how Italians traditionally made pesto. They made it by hand, with a mortar and pestle! The word "pesto" is literally translated as "pounded" so the food processor, which chops up the basil instead of grinding it, is actually less desirable. Time to put my "ancient" kitchen utensils and biceps to good use.

Walnut Basil Pesto
1 clove garlic
sea salt, black pepper
3 handfuls of fresh basil leaves
1 handful of walnuts, lightly toasted
1 handful of grated good parmesan
good extra virgin olive oil
squeeze of lemon

1. Crush garlic with the sea salt and black pepper.
2. Add the basil a handful at a time and continue pounding/grinding.
3. Crush the toasted walnuts with your hands first, then add in and continue pounding/grinding.
4. When you get a creamy consistency (I left mine quite chunky), add the grated parmesan.
5. Stir in extra virgin olive oil till you get a smooth enough mixture. It depends on the dryness of the cheese.
6. Add a squeeze of lemon, to taste.

Authentic pesto calls for pine nuts, but I didn't have any, so I used walnuts instead. It's more fun experimenting with other types of herbs or leaves and other nuts actually.
I liked it, the texture was very rustic, so it's more like a chimichurri. To be honest, that's because I got tired. I still want a food processor...

1 comment:

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