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Pesto

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
what is your ideal Pesto recipe?

on the functions menu at the hotel we have Pasta Salad as one of four salad choices for buffets, for this i choose to make cooked Penne Pasta with Pesto Rosso...

175g lightly toasted Pine Nuts
1/2 bulb of Garlic
1/2 tin Tomato Puree
2 decent handfuls of fresh Basil
1 good handful of Rocket
125g fresh Parmesan
1 1/2 cup Pomace Oil
Sea Salt and cracked Black Pepper
1.5 kilo dried Penne Pasta (cooked)

i got the inspiration to make red pesto when looking at pesto jars in supermarkets
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post #2 of 11
I pretty much eyeball it when making pesto.

Although I know it's traditional, we don't care for pine nuts. Subs include pistachios (supurb!) and cashews. Depending on the green of choice, either evoo or a nut oil. Among the pesto greens we've used are basil (of course), arugala (rocket), spinach, and kale.

Garlic for sure. And sometimes I go with pecorino romano instead of parmesan.

Never thought of a red pesto. But now that you mention it......
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post

I pretty much eyeball it when making pesto.

Although I know it's traditional, we don't care for pine nuts. Subs include pistachios (supurb!) and cashews. Depending on the green of choice, either evoo or a nut oil. Among the pesto greens we've used are basil (of course), arugala (rocket), spinach, and kale.

Garlic for sure. And sometimes I go with pecorino romano instead of parmesan.

Never thought of a red pesto. But now that you mention it......

interesting good few alternative ingredient ideas there, the mention of arugala especially inspires thoughts of a caesar pasta type pesto salad, here is how i envision it ... replace the Tomato Puree of a Red Pesto recipe with Mayonnaise would work well, as well as adding anchovies and parsley to the recipe 
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post #4 of 11
Why mayo, Coulis?

Parsley is a good choice. Friend of mine makes a parsley pesto using broad-leaf parsley and walnuts. It's not too bad. I usually sub pecans in any walnut recipe, but that's just me.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #5 of 11
I'm sorry, but.. what is "rocket"? Just for my own curiosity.  Is it a nickname for Arugula as one might infer from Heirloomer's post?
post #6 of 11
Speaking of pesto, for those who haven't come across it, Nigella Lawson has a fabulous recipe for Pea and pesto soup. It's great as-is, but I make my own pesto and use half chicken (or sometimes vegetable) stock and half water, and add a potato. A swirl of cream on the top is a fancy touch. Serve with a nice crusty roll. Lovely!

Makes enough for 2 hearty bowls

750ml water

375g frozen peas

2 spring onions, trimmed but whole

1 tsp Maldon salt or ½ tsp table salt

½ tsp lime juice

4 x 15ml tbsp fresh pesto (from a tub, not a jar)

1 The quickest way to proceed is to fill a kettle first and put it on to boil. When it has boiled, measure the amount you need into a pan and put on the hob to come back to the boil.

2 Add the frozen peas, spring onions, salt and lime juice to the pan and let everything bubble together for 7 minutes.

3 Discard the spring onions and blitz the peas and their liquid with the pesto in a blender.

Cookie in the Wildwood
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Cookie in the Wildwood
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post #7 of 11
That's correct, TheoB.

Not a nickname, though. Synonyms. In the U.S. it's called arugala. In Europe, various forms of the word rocket.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coulis-o View Post

what is your ideal Pesto recipe?
 

  Hi Coulis-O, what a great topic.

   There seem to be so many variations of pesto...and they're all soooooo good! 

     Pesto is one of those small dishes that pack a whole lot of flavor.  The best addition I have made to improve my pesto is to use homegrown ingredients. 

    

   To my taste buds there are really few similarities comparing store bought garlic to home-grown fresh picked garlic.  If you haven't grown your own garlic in the past...plan on planting some this fall for next year.  Really!


   Growing your own basil is also so easy to do...and, if you keep them pruned, they look great in the landscape.  Plus, when you want to make pesto in summer...just go cut some fresh leaves   You can really spruce a pesto up with varying basil plants.  The different plants add a wide variety of flavors and colors to any dish...basil is not just basil.  Although, if I think pesto...I initially think Genovese pesto with Genovese basil.

  Cheese?  Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino, Grana Padana, etc.  There are many you can use...but in something with so few ingredients, like pesto, everything matters.  A young cheese will add so little to the flavor.  It will be mellow, buttery and the cheese could easily get lost in the other big flavors used in pesto.  A well made cheese will offer a deep nutty complexity that will set it apart from lesser cheeses.

   Pine nuts are a tricky one for me.  I, like a few others, can eat some pine nuts with no initial problems.  But as time goes on (sometimes hours later) everything I eat has a prominent bitter taste.  It usually lasts up to two weeks.  I've tried pine nuts from various places with the same effect.  But, most recently, I ordered pinenuts from Wholesale Pine Nuts with no ill effect.  I bought both the roasted and raw pine nuts.  Both were very good...though I have to say the fresh raw pine nuts were a bit strange.  They were very moist...good...but quite different.

    Good Olive Oil?  Boy there's a weak spot.  The past couple of years I finally found some sources for fresh harvested olive oil, my gosh!


   These are how I prepare my...

    Genovese Pesto
Add some Genovese basil leaves and garlic to your marble mortar and pestle, make a paste.  Next add the pine nuts, then the olive oil and make a paste again.  After this you can add your fresh grated cheese(s).  

Sicilian Pesto
Add some Genovese basil leaves (less than you would use above) and garlic to your marble mortar and pestle, make a paste.  Next add some sun dried tomato(s) and form a paste.  I'll use either almonds or pine nuts (whichever is on hand) and finish once again to a paste.


    I really can't wait until I get my basil plants in the ground now!

  dan
post #9 of 11
Just don't rush it, Dan. You know basil is one of the most tender plants you can grow.

My babies have just put out their first true leaves. Almost time to repot them. Then they'll sit until at least mid-May before transplant.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post

Why mayo, Coulis?

Parsley is a good choice. Friend of mine makes a parsley pesto using broad-leaf parsley and walnuts. It's not too bad. I usually sub pecans in any walnut recipe, but that's just me.


just an idea, when you mentioned Arugala i instantly thought of Arugala Caesar Salad, since i make Pesto Salad with Penne Pasta i thought what would a Caesar Pesto Salad taste like, since Mayonnaise is made with Oil anyway i could omit some/all of the oil from the pesto and replace it with mayo, to make like a Remoulade type Caesar Pesto i think would work really well.
we're as good as our last meal.
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we're as good as our last meal.
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post #11 of 11
i like the one we make at work. basil(which we pick the leaves) pine nuts, garlic, parmisian reggiano,and olive oil. simple and taste very good with other dishes. i like to add it to our tomato sauce. wheat penne is good with it.
Chef it up errrrday!!!
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Chef it up errrrday!!!
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