Authentic Pesto?

. May 1, 2008

Pesto is rooted in Genoa, Italy, in the scenic province of Liguria.Although the origins of pesto aren't certain, it dates back to the 16th century as the oldest oily sauce. Ligurian sailors, wanting a change from fish and spicy foods, preferred home grown herbs and vegetables from the Ligurian countryside.

I used to prepare mine in a food processor but then I read Heidi's post and decided to try it the traditional way even though it's more work, except that I don't have a marble mortar and wooden stick.I have a cast iron mortar. Will do for the time being...

In order to allow the full release of its aroma the little leaves of basil (about60) should be crushed by hand in the mortar.I also added some arugula The movement of the wrist is of great importance. It should be a round movement, allowing to squeeze the leave either then crush them. Then you pour some extra virgin olive oil, then put some salt and again squeeze the mixture, and finally pour in the parmesan cheese and the pine nuts, 2 crushed cloves of garlic and some more olive oil. The result should be a creamy pesto, thick but not hard solid.

Basil, a a magical herb member of the mint family, originated in India . It is an annual herb that relieves indigestion, inflammation and migraines and is known to have a calming effect. It contains vitamins C and K, iron, calcium, and potassium. In Italy, pesto was used as a symbol of love.


JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Looks like fun! :)
My mortar and pestle is too small for this - clearly I need a bigger one!

Michelle said...

I need to give this a try. We love pesto. I hope my basil will grow in the garden so I can make it often.

TheGourmetGirl said...

Like you, I enjoy sharing the history of dishes with my readers. Thank you for the tidbits about pesto.


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