Leggi questo post in: Italiano
For me the summer is pesto time. I recent saw a facebook friend’s status about sundried tomato pesto and obviously I had to ask her how she made it. She told me to toss basil, pine nuts, sundried tomatoes, olive oil and salt in the food processer. But that she sometimes makes it with parsley, walnuts and olives. Seeing as my poor basil plants are still tiny and I love parsley, I mixed up parsley, pine nuts, sundried tomatoes and olive oil in my immersion blender (I don’t have a food processer). There wasn’t any need for salt because the tomatoes were already very well dressed. You only need a little for each plate of pasta and it’s so good!
Then there’s obviously the traditional pesto alla genovese, not all that genovese (from Genova) when made by an American near Naples. Normally when the weather starts getting nice, I buy three basil plants and I put them in a huge pot and let them grow, grow and grow until they get to be something like a bush. Then I harvest and blend them with minced garlic, pine nuts (or walnuts, almonds, pistachios), grated pecorino (sheep’s cheese) and olive oil, and voilà! Seeing as I make a good amount, I freeze it for the winter in little portions in those plastic cups for espresso covered with aluminum foil. But I hate using that disposable stuff so this year, if my poor little basil plants ever grow (they were given to me by a friend who grew them from organic seeds), I’ll freeze them in ice cube trays and then, when well-frozen, will put the pesto cubes in a closed container so they don’t lose their nice smell. This is what I did when preparing food for my daughter before she could eat “normal” food like the rest of us.
And lastly there’s zucchini mint pesto, which that same friend of the basil plants taught me a few days before my daughter was born. You steam the zucchini, but not too much. In the meantime, put the almonds with their skins still on in a bit of boiling water for a little, just long enough so the skins peel right off. If you have almonds without their skins, you can obviously skip this step. Then into the blender go: lots of fresh mint leaves, the almonds (or pine nuts or whatever nuts you want), a little olive oil and a bit of the water from steaming the zucchini. When it’s well-blended, add the zucchini, parmesan and pecorino (sheep’s cheese) and more oil. You can also put in a little salt, but it’s better to just get the right saltiness by adjusting the pecorino. But usually it’s good to put the same amount of parmesan as pecorino. You can freeze it as with regular pesto or put it in a jar, cover with more olive oil and keep in the fridge. I wouldn’t suggest keeping it frozen for very long, though, because with time all the flavor goes away.