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Footnotes from the pesto jihad

True believers and knights of the pesto jihad now that there is one true recipe.
Olive oil
Pine nuts
Parmesan Reggiano or at worst Gran Padano
Salt. Maybe.
Nothing. Else.
No cashew nuts. No sunflower oil. No hydrogenated anything. No potato.
There are more sinners against pesto than I care to mention. I'm not criticising rocket pesto or walnut pest or coriander pesto or anything else that confesses on the label that it's not the real thing; I'm dissing what Sacla produces for the UK and what comes in most jars. Sainsburys has done well for several years; the fresh green pesto they do is really pretty good, with few extraneous icky things. Waitrose didn't do a pesto worth the name till last year, but now they have a superb pesto - bright green with extra whole pine nuts in. Sainsburys has something similar but more expensive and in a pot you can't reseal - truly delicious though. The Jamie Oliver pesto in a jar and the own-brand Waitrose in a jar were both true to the recipe the last time I checked, though not a patch on fresh. The deli in Putney still does superb pesto too ;-)

And while I'm on food, a 'too good to live' nomination for lamentables for greeting worn out M40 travellers with not just a welcome cuppa but a delicious chili - thank you again!



( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
14th Aug, 2007 20:17 (UTC)
You're welcome. (I'm going to get very smug if my flist keeps up with the telling me I'm awesome thing. That's twice in just a couple of hours :)
14th Aug, 2007 22:59 (UTC)
Is Pecorino allowable?
15th Aug, 2007 09:50 (UTC)
as long as it's Romano and it's there for flavour rather than bulk - it's the Parmesan or Pecorino that stops it being oily basil and garlic. I think the pine nuts should be roasted or toasted too... go forth and grate in confidence
15th Aug, 2007 04:36 (UTC)
As a fellow Jihadist (inducted by your own good self), I thank you.

15th Aug, 2007 08:12 (UTC)
Why do mfrs put too many ingredients in? I had some olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing that includes Dijon mustard. When I put the olive oil and balsamic vinegar on salad (especially rocket) that is all that goes on. Oil and vinegar. No mustard.

Nothing. Else.
No cashew nuts. No sunflower oil. No hydrogenated anything. No potato.
15th Aug, 2007 09:53 (UTC)
sometimes it's cost - potato is obviously cheaper than the equialent bulk of good things - and the belief that the UK palate can't tell the difference. Hence the need for a movement of our, ahem, force. sometimes it's the mistaken belief that it tastes better that day; in those cases we find some suitable method of re-education is enough.
15th Aug, 2007 12:01 (UTC)
For obvious reasons I adore vegan pesto (cashews instead of cheese)...
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


full steam ahead
Mary Branscombe
Simon & Mary

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