Saturday, November 08, 2008

Hey pesto!

I was toying with calling the post, "This pesto is the besto", but unfortunately I don't believe it would reflect reality. This pesto was very experimental and ad hoc in nature.

I grow basil every year in the vain hope that it will appear in all sorts of Italian-style cooking, but it never does, and most years it goes straight on the compost heap in November. It always thrives brilliantly, and grows into a big woody bush. So this year I rather belligerently brought the whole bush into the house, and made "Let's make pesto" noises. My friend Yagi-san recently gave us a frozen pot of his home-made pesto, and it was very good indeed, so that acted as a kind of endorsement of the whole idea.

During the process of stripping off all the leaves, an entire ecosystem of insects made it's way onto the kitchen table, including a large, brown and gold praying mantis who resisted fiercely when I put her out, and a stink bug who stank, but not as much as a bush of basil. There were many spiders, as well as a number of mites and something that looks like chaff, many of whom no doubt made it into the final product.

The pesto involved basil leaves, walnuts, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. If it needs Parmesan, it'll have to make do with a shake after serving. The missus put it in a Ziploc for freezing. It looks rather darker than pesto we've had to date.

Fierce debate rages on in our household about the accepted pronunciation of 'pesto'. Obviously I know how to say it, but others insist that 'pesto' is the name of a disease, and I should say 'paste'. This ongoing and general wrongness grieves me considerably.

No comments: