Sunday, October 05, 2014
IF AT FIRST YOU DON'T SUCCEED WITH PESTO.........
Do you recall a particular food or drink you used to hate when you were a youngster, but now you enjoy; it might be those brussels sprouts your mum wanted you to eat at Christmas or that soup your grandma forced you to swallow when you visited her at weekends or that lumpy slime they used to dish out in the school canteen and call custard? Well for me it’s yes, yes, yes to all of the above and I’d like to add another food to the list - pesto; yep that green stuff that university students live on. I had my first encounter of pesto in the kitchen of my university halls of residence and I can still remember the repulsive taste in my mouth and the disgusted frown on my face when my flatmate poked it into my mouth and assured me it was the best thing since sliced bread - in my opinion it wasn't. I detested the taste and smell, and while I made the choice never to taste it again, my nostrils were subjected to it for 3 years because it was the food of choice (poured over pasta) among the guys and gals in my dorm. I vowed never to eat it or smell it again after I left!
Move forward a significant number of years and there I am watching a cookery programme the other week where Italian chef, Gino D’Acampo, made a pesto dish look absolutely deliciously mouth-watering. I couldn't understand why I didn't like pesto because it’s made up of all the ingredients I enjoy: basil; olive oil; pine nuts; and parmesan…….yum. So, being the foodie that I am who’s always up for a challenge in the kitchen I decided to make my own pesto using my pestle and mortar and mixed it with courgettini ( i.e. I used sliced ribbon-shaped courgette as a substitute for fettuccini/fetuccine pasta). Voila! I’m a home-made pesto fan.
What I used:
- A fresh basil plant
- Pinch of salt (and pepper if you like pepper, I don't)
- A handful of pine nuts
- A handful of grated parmesan
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Optional squeeze of lemon
I used a whole small fresh basil plant, picked off the leaves and rinsed.
I crushed the basil and a pinch of salt in a pestle and mortar, which gives the pesto a really nice texture rather than using a food processor, and then added the pine nuts to the basil mixture and crushed again.
I tipped the basil and nut mixture into another bowl and added the handful of grated parmesan and stirred gently.
I finished by adding a good glug of olive oil to the mixture and a dash of lemon juice.
I made my courgettini by slicing a courgette into ribbon, fetuccini-style shapes and sauteed them in olive oil. I added some additional pine nuts for added protein and texture until they turned golden brown - the smell at this stage is unbelievable.
Once the courgette and pine nuts are sauteed to your liking, add the pesto mixture, and ensure it is fully warmed through. Serve and then enjoy with a two fingers up to the ready-made jar version.
labelscourgette recipes, courgettes, fetuccine, fetuccini, Gino D'Acampo, nutrition, NUTRITION AND HEALTH, pesto, pesto recipes, Recipes
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