Saturday, July 31

Home-made pesto

When I bought my pestle and mortar I looked at the larger ones and thought 'who the heck would need a pestle and mortar that big?!

Last week Row brought me a whole load of basil and I decided to make pesto, I found out! I had to make it in two batches as I couldn't get it all in the bowl!

I discovered that pine nuts are extremely expensive - and harder to find than hens teeth in Deptford High Street. Sometimes you have to be a little bit gracious towards Tescos, and I was glad that they had some - albeit £3.60 for a tiny 100g bag! I just googled pine nuts and discovered that they are, actually, the nuts of pines - how strange that they don't taste anything like you would expect.

So I pounded the basil with a handful of pinenuts, some rock salt and some garlic until it was mush. I added grated parmesan and olive oil till it became the right consistency.

It was great stuffed in a chicken breast which was then wrapped in bacon and baked in the oven for about 40 mins. The Curse declared it 'the best meal I've had in bloody ages'.


BB said...

Sometimes I use almonds or walnuts in pesto.

colleen said...

I adore the taste of pine nuts. I have been growing basil in a very large pot of worm compost and it is looking luscious and ripe for pesto. If I can bring myself to kill it mercifully.

knit nurse said...

@BB I'm liking your suggestion, or to be more accurate my wallet is liking your suggestion! I do love the taste of pine nuts but I guess in pesto it's rather overpowered by the basil, parmesan and garlic!

@colleen - think of it this way, if you chop the leaves off, more will spring up in their wake. If you let them carry on growing it will flower and then die. In truth you are giving it the gift of eternal life!

Ines said...

In Italy, Ligurians add walnuts together with pinenuts, in Rome we often use rocket instead of basil... but we all use pesto almost exclusively as seasoning for pasta!