30 Jun 2014

The pest in pesto

I doubt I'd have tried if I hadn't been surrounded by forests of basil: one small Tesco growing basil has transmuted into a miniature hedge and two 12" terracotta pots of the stuff that are triffid-like in their enthusiasm. An enthusiasm that needed severe curbing. Five ounces of basil prunings might not sound like much but, trust me, it is. 


Home made pesto seemed easy enough: basil, pine nuts, garlic, grated Parmesan, olive oil. But don't believe any recipe that says a blender can substitute for a food processor. I did. It can't.

'Let me help you,' Tony said as a big wodge of basil on a base of cheese and nuts all ignored the gnashing blades and the overheating motor. 
'I'm fine. I just need to do it slowly.'
'Why don't you let me help you?'
'I don't need any help!'
'I can get it going,' he said.
'So can I,' I said, grabbing the olive oil and pouring it in two stages before the recipe recommended. 'I'm FINE. Don't stand there watching me.'

This is the kind of inconsequential stuff that arguments can arise from, like phoenix from the ashes of previously unresolved spats.

Some kind of pesto emerged from the melée although with about three times the amount of olive oil the recipe asked for. But if someone can't judge the efficiency of a blender compared with a food processor what can they know about pesto?

My result wasn't bad: a good balance of flavours but a bit paste-like after the blender cranked up a gear and started chewing on the thicket of leaves and nuts. 


But I do prefer a more textured sauce like the recipe at this link at 101 Cookbooks. It looks and sounds more authentic too. Note to self: always Google further than you think you should.

In the meantime I have three small pots of sauce. Two have gone in the freezer. Some of the contents of the third has already been eaten directly off the spoon and with some left over medium rare rib-eye steak. (Who'd have thought that steak, some nose-stinging mustard and home made pesto would taste so good together?)


That's the thing when you go to so much trouble to make something: there's a compulsion, and a certain amount of obligation, to eat and enjoy it. Fortunately, this time, there was some enjoyment to be had. And, I'm pleased to say, Tony agreed.  

Hungry Writing Prompt
Write a list of things you have been compelled to do in your life.