Thursday, January 29, 2009


Pesto was first made by some unknown hand in the Italian region Liguria, which forms part of the Italian Rivera. The mild Mediterranean climate, mountainous terrain, and coastal location have had a great influence on the culinary traditions of the region, which is similar to that of French Provence.
Often called Pesto Genovese, from it's origin in the Ligurian city Genoa (Genova in Italian), Italian pesto is similar to French pistou and both are uncooked condiments made with fresh basil leaves. Both are added to dishes towards the end of cooking, as heating the sauce for a prolonged time will certainly kill the flavour and colour. The difference is more garlic is used in pistou and cheese and pine nuts are added to the Italian version. In the original pesto recipes that date back to the time of Virgil, Pecorino cheese and not Parmesan was used and the latter is considered a 'modern' ingredient to this classic paste, as is the addition or substitution of almonds or walnuts for pine nuts.

Basil pesto
Recipe From : Ideas September 01, 1992
Ingredients12 cloves garlic, peeled 500 ml fresh basil leaves, rinsed and dried 100 g walnuts, shelled 100 ml olive oil 150 g freshly grated Parmesan cheese Method:1. Chop garlic, basil and walnuts in a food processor. 2. With the motor running, add olive oil in a slow, steady stream. 3. Stop motor, then add cheese and seasoning and mix well. Pesto should be soft and smooth in texture. Scrape into a container or glass jar, cover with a thin layer of oil.

Pesto is delicious as a sandwich spread and as a layer in any appetizer dip. It's particularly good in open-faced sandwiches. You can also spread it on any thin cut of meat or fish, then coat with bread crumbs and quickly saute.

Whether on its own or mixed with other ingredients like cream cheese or bread crumbs, pesto makes an excellent stuffing ingredient.

If the pesto is too thick to drizzle, just stir in a bit more olive oil. It's the perfect finishing touch for any grilled meat or vegetable too.

Pasta is a natural partner for pesto. As you toss hot cooked pasta with this flavorful sauce, the heat brings out the fabulous flavors of the basil, garlic, and cheese.

Pesto mixed with everything from olive oil to mayonnaise makes a fabulous salad dressing, especially for pasta salads. It can be stirred into rice or mashed potatoes, or mixed into hot vegetables.

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