Originally Posted by Coulis-o
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...
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!