ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Making Perfect Pesto

Updated on June 29, 2011

A quick word on the Mortar and Pestle...

One of the oldest known "cooking" tools is as simple as a stone bowl (the mortar) and a stone grinder that fits into that bowl (the pestle). The mortar and pestle, as it's become known, seems to have popped up in many different countries simultaneously, and nobody knows exactly which culture to credit. Cave drawings in North America, Europe, Australia and parts of Indo-China all have images of early man grinding food with stone bowls so besides fire, the mortar and pestle can be considered one of the oldest kitchen tools in existance.

Today, many cultures still rely on the mortar and pestle, but the development of the food mill or processor has become a far more convenient replacement. There are purists though, that will never let go of their well-worn and seasoned mortar and pestle. The real advantage to using a mortar and pestle over a food processor is that the processor blade tends to heat up and oxidize the food being grinded. This can essentially "cook" whatever it is you're grinding changing both the color and the flavor profile.

The mortar and pestle is still extremely useful for grinding dried spices together, making pastes from berries and nuts, and of course making pesto. In fact, the very word "pesto" is derived from the word "pestle." The recipe below utilizes a food processor (for convenience), but if you're lucky enough to find a good mortar and pestle, try making your pesto the old-fashioned way for an authentic Italian flair!

Perfect Pesto

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 Cups Fresh Basil Leaves
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Parsley (minus stems)
  • 2 Cloves Whole Peeled Garlic
  • 1/4 Cup Pine Nuts
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Grated Parmesan
  • 2 Cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to Season

In a food processor or blender, blend all the ingredients except the olive oil, salt and pepper together until fully blended. Make sure to stop and scrape down the sides of the processor if needed to make an even paste. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while blending until fully incorporated, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Easy as that!

Try these cooking ideas using pesto...

  • use it on pastas
  • use it as a sandwich/panini spread
  • add some to sour cream for an amazing dip
  • add some to mayonnaise for basil aioli
  • as a garnish for tomato-based soups and stews
  • add some to ranch for an amazing salad dressing
  • spread it on bruschetta
  • as a marinade for chicken
  • drizzle around the plate to garnish
  • pizza


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Delaney Boling profile imageAUTHOR

      Delaney Boling 

      8 years ago

      You're welcome reddog! Basil grows great during the Summer months so put a plant or two in the yard and have garden-fresh pesto well into the Fall!

    • reddog1027 profile image

      reddog1027 

      8 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Added this one to my recipe file. Thanks again D for a easy to do but taste great recipe.

    • Delaney Boling profile imageAUTHOR

      Delaney Boling 

      8 years ago

      Thanks Sagebrush. Gotta love pesto!

    • sagebrush_mama profile image

      sagebrush_mama 

      8 years ago from The Shadow of Death Valley...Snow Covered Mountain Views Abound!

      MMM! I love growing fresh basil in my garden through the summer...will definitely be back to re-read this hub!

    • Delaney Boling profile imageAUTHOR

      Delaney Boling 

      8 years ago

      Me too. I have about ten healthy basil plants in my herb garden, and every summer I end up making pesto at least once a week. As a matter of fact, I still have about two pounds in my freezer from last summer (it does freeze beautifully). Even after seven months, it still has it's bright green color and intense basil flavor... I love this stuff!

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 

      8 years ago

      Thanks for the recipe. I am crazy about pesto.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)