Skip to main content

Pesto



I am not a fan of store bought pesto. Not because it's not fresh, or because it contains preservatives. I don't like it because of the cheese.

I don't like parmesan. There, it's heresy, but I've said it now. Give me fresh mozzarella, crumbly feta or even gorgonzola. But parmesan's just not my thing. Now pesto is a sauce hard to avoid if you like Italian, so I decided to make my own cheese-less version of the classic.

Drop a loosely packed cup of basil leaves and 2 chopped garlic cloves in a blender. Pulse until coarsely chopped. Now add a tbsp of pine nuts, another tbsp of olive oil and a pinch of coarse sea salt and blend again. But stop while your sauce is still grainy - remember that pesto is something you originally made with mortar & pestle so we aren't looking for smooth here.

Dip a spoon and dig in. If any of it survives beyond the first ten minutes, scrape it into an airtight container and leave it in the fridge. I've heard it lasts a few days; I am yet to see proof of it.

Comments

Laura said…
I like Parm ok, bit I always sub in Asiago, which we love. I've never understood why Parm gets to be king automatically.

Now my issue, on the other hand, with pesto is the copious quantity of Italian (or American) basil. Which is weird since I can eat large amounts of Thai or purple basil.
Siri said…
Wishing you a very Happy Ugadi :). Pesto is one thing I never buy from store, I don't like the after taste of it. :)

Cheers,
Siri
Rachel said…
Wow that is neat although I like cheese in my pesto. I have a friend who makes pesto minus the cheese and stores them and prior to use she stirs the cheese in.
Sunshinemom said…
I made this some time back too:), and they taste great cheeseless! I prefer the mortar and pestle way!
Priya said…
Pesto i love this, i too prepare at home, i dont event buy from store...
Curry Leaf said…
I love parmesan,so in that I do not agree with you.But I too do not buy pesto as I love the aroma of fresh basil and love it when ground,too good and I feel very mood enhancing.To be honest I add only little parmesan asI want pesto to be more basil-y and also give only a coarse grind as you say
Srivalli said…
Happy New year wishes simran...that looks good..have never tried my hands with it...
Bharti said…
Home made pesto is def. best. But yeah, gotta disagree on the cheese part.
notyet100 said…
thats a nce recipe simran,..;-)
rekhas kitchen said…
nice recipe i like pesto pasta yumm
Prathibha said…
even i prepare pesto at home...It stays for a good one week if enough olive oil is added...i have tried and tested it..:)
ThePurpleFoodie said…
I love pesto! Where do you buy your pine nuts from? They seem nice and plump.

Popular posts from this blog

Tales of A Female Nomad

This month, our book club goes on a nomadic tour. We traveled with Rita Golden Gelman, a writer who sold everything she owned after the shock of a divorce and became a nomad. Not a tourist, because Rita stays away from everything that a tourist does and instead, tries to live the lives of people she visits.

From Mexico to Israel to Galapago Islands, Rita goes the way least traveled, always preferring to stay as a boarder with natives. And sometimes, going to places not even locals will go, places so secluded yet beautiful that Rita's description takes your breath away, urges you to become a nomad yourself.

Yet even nomads sometimes find their roots. Rita found hers in Bali where she spent eight years. Starting as a boarder with a prince, she eventually became a part of the family. I instantly knew I wanted to cook something Indonesian. I picked Nasi Goreng, the Indonesian fried rice.



There are as many recipes for Nasi Goreng as there are cooks. Some use tomatoes, others tamarind.…

Mystery Fruit

This only happened a few times every year, just when the rainy season kicked in. A street hawker will come by, straw basket on head. He will yell "kaul chapni" and I will run out to buy a bundle of these. Stuck together like flowers, they looked like a bouquet. Every hole contains a little fruit. You break out the package, peel the tiny fruit that pops out and eat it. Done slowly, it can take you an hour to eat an head. Or did, when I was about 12 years old.

That was the last time I saw this fruit. I've never seen it again, didn't even know what it was called or where it came from. Three weeks back, Vikram Doctor wrote about a store in Khar that sells Sindhi foods. He described this fruit and I knew it came from my vivid childhood memories. And finally, I knew we were talking about lotus fruit.

Now talk about coincidences. Last weekend, I was passing by a lane in Bandra and for the first time in many, many years I saw the straw basket filled with my mytery fruit. It…

Announcing AWED : Britain

Before I ate my first Italian wood fired pizza, before I went to that swanky Japanese sushi bar for the first time, or the neighborhood Chinese joint, the first non-Indian cuisine I encountered was British. Not real food, mind you, but the tempting, oh so delicious descriptions in my favorite novels. From Enid Blyton to Jane Austen to P.G. Wodehouse, every favorite character in every favorite novel seems to have food on their mind.

Yes, British food gets ridiculed a lot. But forget their main course dishes for now, and think of the full English breakfast and the elegant afternoon teas. Then try imagining the world without cucumber sandwiches or potato chips and you will realize you can't do without British food.

Which is why when I saw that DK was looking for hosts for her monthly event AWED (A Worldly Epicurean's Delight) and there has never been a British AWED, I promptly signed up.



The rules are simple really:

Make any vegetarian or vegan British dish (eggs are allowed in A…