Food: pesto with a twist

April 10, 2008 rooroo

My great-auntie Angela makes the most wonderful pesto. She is my grandmother’s sister, and they share the same features: pale skin, green eyes and red hair – rather odd for Italians, but when they get together for family events, they are the cutest. As for the pesto my first memories of it came when I was 10, and I was in Sicily with my mum. My auntie briskly walked into the kitchen carrying bundles of basil in her hands and I stood close to the blender while she stuffed the basil in with pine nuts, garlic, parmesan and lugfuls of olive oil. After a few minutes, we ate pasta with the glorious thick green sauce.

I’ve tolerated pesto in jars for quite some time, but it’s nothing compared to making your own. I always have a supply of pine nuts, garlic, cheese and olive oil in the house, so all my efforts require is a trip to the greengrocers. The one in Streatham Hill doesn’t keep the herbs on display, you have to ask one of the store attendents for whatever you want, he disappears into a dark corner, and returns with a fragrant bundle of green.

Anyway, if you have the ingredients in your possession, throw them into a blender and you won’t be disappointed with the results. Don’t forget to turn the blender on.

Yesterday I decided to give Gourmet Nutrition’s spinach, cashew nut and feta cheese pesto a try. The ingredients list included some lemon juice, a pinch of ground cumin and pepper. I used a handheld blender instead of the big chap in the corner as I wanted more control. I probably would have added the nuts in last, rather than piling them at the top as they were quickly ground into a rubble, but I was happy with the result.

The end product resembled guacamole rather than what the picture in the book suggests, but in terms of taste, I was not disappointed. It did a wonderful job of livening up some leftover turkey, and I’m sure it would go well with some white fish, or perhaps even salmon.


Entry Filed under: food

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