Hey Pesto!

When I was 18 years old I travelled alone to Rome and stayed at my Italian friend’s apartment near the Spanish Steps in the centre of Rome.  His mum would cook the most wonderful Italian meals and fed us till we could not walk.  One evening I was served a lovely plate of pasta with a creamy and extremely refreshing green sauce. It was the first time I was introduced to PESTO sauce.   About 17 years later, I found out from a friend visiting Moonriver Lodge that Basil is the main ingredient in Pesto sauce.  Pesto is a sauce originating from northern Italy and traditionally consists of crushed garlic, basil and nuts blended with olive oil and cheese.

Here is a recipe contributed by Sumes, our Guest.

Hi Billie and Peng Keat,

Finally home in mad KL. really enjoyed the serenity and the great company of the last few days @ MRL. keep up the great work!

Here’s a recipe that i’ve used for pesto. i didn’t use any cheese – i figured it didn’t need any! already incredibly rich without it.

2 cups basil (a great heaping bowl of leaves??), coarsely chopped
1/2 – 3/4 cup olive oil (possibly more)
1 cup pine nuts (and/or a mixture of other seeds and nuts, i’ve used sunflower seeds, walnuts, almonds, cashews before) – lightly toasted or raw
2-3 cloves fresh garlic (more if a great fan of garlic!)
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
pinch black pepper (to taste)

Very easy – blend/process everything together! or you may want to blend the nuts first, then slowly add the rest….. up to you. traditionally made by mortar and pestle, if you have time or energy. don’t blend til smooth like puree, leave some texture in it. you can also add some grated parmesan, and/or a twist of lemon. but you don’t really need these.

When you store it in the fridge, just make sure the top is sealed in olive oil to keep it from oxidising. i’ve kept it this way and found it fine for use up to 2-3 weeks. but obviously, fresher is better.

Happy experimenting!! (and eating!)



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