Monday, July 17, 2006

Basic Pesto

A while back I read somewhere that the best pestos are stone-ground. Now, I've only had pestos made with a food processor, so I decided to take the advice and give it a go. Turns out, it does make a bit of a difference - the flavors infuse into each other more, and the basil flavor is stronger because you've mashed the hell out of it and the juices have released.

A special thanks to my sister, who gave me this mortar and pestle for Christmas a few years back, and now it's become one of the most used items in my kitchen.

Basic Pesto

2 large garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups loosely packed fresh basil
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

In the mortar and pestle, grind the garlic with the salt until it becomes a foamy paste; add the pinenuts and grind until they become a paste. Add the basil and grind until the basil is fine, then mix in the oil, pepper and, finally, the cheese. Refrigerate for up to a week.

I served mine over pasta with warm tomatoes - it was lovely. No calorie count on this one, I don't even want to know.


Kalyn said...

Hey, welcome back. Nice job on this, it looks delicious.

Lexi said...

Erin that pesto looks amazing...
How are you? You've been a bit quiet lately...

vanessa said...

Pesto. Yum. Looks like you and I have the same case of blog-neglect :) hope you are doing well and that you'll post again!

you, kalyn, and i need to get together!

Lexi said...

I miss you... are you ok???

rowena said...

So,,,I just found your site and totally agree with the difference in using a mortar and pestle when making pesto.

And then I noticed that this was posted in July! I hope you'll be posting again.

avondi said...

Your photography is amazing! Did you know you can freeze pesto as well? Not sure how long. I just made an amazing pizza last night that I stole from a fav restaurant that went out of business. I used a Boboli crust, spread a decent layer of pesto, sliced grilled chicken breast, artichoke hearts and mozzarella. Bake just to melt cheese and heat through. Works with any crust but I was lazy ;-)

Cynthia Samuels said...


Dear Erin,
Please forgive me for posting this here. I could find no email for you and I don’t want you to miss the event. I’m writing to invite you to join a small group of bloggers who will interview a nationally prominent expert and advocate on issues of diet, nutrition and health. This news conference is one of a series of calls sponsored by the health portal Revolution Health.
Our guest: James O. Hill, Ph.D. is Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine at the University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center in Denver, CO. and serves as the Director of the Center for Human Nutrition, a nutrition center funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He also has served on numerous government panels, including the NIH Taskforce on the Prevention and Treatment of Obesity. More of his extensive biography is available here.
Your blog was of particular interest because it’s a well-respected food blog that includes a weight-loss awareness. Your questions will reflect things that are important to those facing weight and diet issues as well as to those who care about them.
Revolution Health ( is the new health resource website founded by Steve Case, partly because of the difficulties he and his family faced during his brother’s battle with brain cancer. He wants to make it a bit easier for those who follow by providing tools to support both patient and family. I’m working with Revolution to support the work of bloggers who follow health issues. One way we’re doing that is by conducting these topical briefings, just for the blogger universe. Revolution wants to highlight its ability to aggregate and share critical information on health issues by providing new information and contact with health leaders in relevant disease communities.
One great asset of the site is its population of experts, including those on nutrition, diet and weight loss, drawn from major academic institutions across the country, including Columbia, Harvard, Cleveland Clinic, the University of California at San Francisco, the University of Southern California, Johns Hopkins, Memorial Sloan Kettering, MD Anderson, and more. We invited one of those experts to participate in a conference call/news conference to answer blogger questions. We’d like you to join us. The call is informational; you are under no obligation to write about the conversation unless you find it useful.

Here are the details:
WHAT: Conference call/news conference with diet expert James O. Hill, Ph.D.
WHEN Tuesday May 22nd from 7-8pm EDT (4-5 PDT)
WHERE: Conference Call – number to be provided
WHY: To answer questions on weight, diet and nutrition – clinical, research and other areas

We will also provide audio after the conference if you would like to post a link to that as well.

Please RSVP, either by email or telephone (see below) when you know if this is an opportunity that interests you.

With best wishes,

Cynthia Samuels for Revolution Health
Phone: 202.236-1844

Organic Baby said...

that was quite cool. i like the look of it.

Wine Lover said...

It looks good, green and healthy!