Wednesday, August 5, 2009

pesto and pancakes


After seeing Karen from South of Rome's post about growing basil, I felt inspired to share with you the results of our first pesto using not only home grown basil, but also home scavenged pine nuts. The whole family partook in this one. Smashing open the pine nut shells might have been my toddler's favorite part, although he also had fun trying on the gloves I wore to protect my hands from becoming a sticky mess from the pine resin that oozes out of our pine cones. And once he got bored with that, he discovered the pile of freshly opened pine nuts and started eating them about as fast as we could open them!  Thank goodness that only about 1/2 cup are necessary.

I didn't use one recipe, but glanced at both Italian and English language versions on the internet. Then the Italian husband who is very-good-in-the-kitchen took over with the quantities and blending, saying it was more about a little of this a little of that, until you got the proportions right according to your taste buds, than following a recipe. I didn't argue, but somehow ended up the official taster. And after a few tastes, not only did we find our perfect blend of fresh basil, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, parmigiano and pecorino romano, but we also found the perfect way to eat it: on top of Ligurian testaroli (pancakes), a simple mix of two types of flour and water cooked on the grill just like any old pancake. So simple, so fun to eat. You have to try this!

7 comments:

  1. Ciao! Oh yum! This year was my first time growing herbs in Italy. I ended up with way too much prezzemolo and not enough basilico. But now with Karen's tips I think I know how to keep the basil going longer. In the meantime... everything I make has a lot of parsley! :-)

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  2. Oh, this sounds good! We'll have to give it a try! Have you ever tried basil lemonade? If you have a lot of basil, it's another surprising treat.

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  3. Basil on pancakes! and now lemonade! Oh my, my basil better get on the ball and start GROWING!! By the way, have you ever seen the Sicilians on Etna gathering pine cones? I remember my girlfriend and I being so perplexed as to what on earth they were doing! Then we learned where pine nuts came from, der! In the fall you must head to Etna for the chestnuts!!! Oh I'm so sad I'm not in Sicily!

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  4. It looks wonderful and I'm just imagining the time your toddler had getting the pinenuts out! I must try pesto on pancakes!

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  5. It looks so delicious and reading your words made my mouth water and my stomach go ... eeeeewwaalooop! ... an involuntary complement! I do want to make some pesto soon - thanks for that :)

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  6. At first glance the combination looks less than appealing. You're enthusiastic description, however, makes it sound like something I should try. Thanks for the idea!

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