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Seth
07-02-2013, 02:57 PM
Sometimes I just put a big pile of the ingredients on the board and start chopping away making a course texture pesto. I have done this all three ways - mortar, processor, chopping. Which method do you like best? Also, in Modernist Cuisine (Home) there are about six variations of pestos. Has anyone tried some of these others?

Brad Gibson
07-02-2013, 04:19 PM
I always use a vitaprep blender to make pesto. I also think that pistachios are the best nuts for pesto, although there are many other great ones!

WildBoar
07-02-2013, 04:24 PM
We use a food processor. Big pile of basil, some garlic, hard cheese, handful of nuts (pine, walnut, pistachio, etc.) and some EVOO. Start it processing and drizzle in more EVOO as needed to achieve desired consistency. Taste it and add more _____ as needed, then add S&P to taste. This is a big pesto year for us, as my wife planted over a dozen basil plants. I think the whites of my eyes already have a green tint.

3200+++
07-02-2013, 07:13 PM
in the provencal recieipe there is only garlic, basil, parmiggiano, olive oil (from green olive) and pine nuts. i add some black pepper in it.

mortar is my preferred way just because it feels authentic (and i have a olive wood one at my disposal) , but i have to try the knife way as i like bits of things for let's say a minestrone soup or pasta.

77kath
07-02-2013, 07:26 PM
I use a food processor because otherwise I wouldn't make it at all. Pesto is as close to heaven as I expect to get.

clayton
07-02-2013, 07:38 PM
Coarse chop with knife and finish in a mortar.

If I am need to hurry I do it in the food processor, but I hate cleaning that thing.

ThEoRy
07-02-2013, 08:24 PM
Blanch and shock your basil guys. I don't care what else you do but blanch and shock your basil. Me, I then use a vita prep but don't baby food it, toasted pine nuts, parmigiano reggiano, extra virgin, a little shot of lemon juice, kosher salt and fresh pepper.

jayhay
07-02-2013, 08:33 PM
Everything theory said, except I don't toast the pine nuts and I add a little chili flake.

cnochef
07-02-2013, 10:32 PM
I make a Mexican pesto with fresh cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno peppers, roasted pumpkin seeds, queso anejo and olive oil.

BTW I use the food processor as I don't have time to mess around with the purist mortar & pestle. I want it somewhat coarse for brushing on meats before grilling or mixing in with pasta, the Vitamix liquefies it too much.

3200+++
07-03-2013, 07:29 AM
hello,

@theory
blanch and shock is putting leaves into boiling very salted water and then immediatelky in ice to keep the green from fading, right? (i'm french and misunderstand tech words so i wanna make sure)
if so i'd recommend doing only half of it (like in a bearnaise idea) because the hot water is gonna fade some taste and vitamins. you woulkd still do half to make sure you have a emerald green compound tho.

roasting the nuts is always a good idea, thanks for sharing!

i hate blenders myself, just because they heat things too much. i have to use some like you tho when time saving is needed.

franzb69
07-03-2013, 07:56 AM
BTW I use the food processor as I don't have time to mess around with the purist mortar & pestle. I want it somewhat coarse for brushing on meats before grilling or mixing in with pasta, the Vitamix liquefies it too much.

could probably do half of it in the food processor and half on the vitamix to get something in between. =D

scotchef38
07-03-2013, 08:23 AM
I would use a food processor if i have to make a lot. Small quanities made in a mortar and pestle do taste better.

marc4pt0
07-03-2013, 08:52 AM
I never blanch as I'm a big fan of raw greens, though I don't disagree with it. I still have some from last year and it's still super green. I do add arugula to the mix for its peppery flavor instead of pepper itself. I also slow roast my garlic in oil and use both the garlic and oil once cooled. Food processor for speed and bulk. Roasted nuts, but only lightly. Always a splash of lemon juice. Usually parmigiano or Grana Padano. Always add a bit of salt in the beginning before adding oil as it helps to dissolve. Then adjust in the end.

Seth
07-03-2013, 09:17 AM
Marcella Hazan adds in soften butter at the end??? I am not sure that is necessary but maybe personal taste. The main purpose of blanching is to lock in color, right? I'll try that.

I used m&p last night and I liked the results but wouldn't have the time for larger batches this way.

eaglerock
07-03-2013, 05:49 PM
Blanch and shock your basil guys. I don't care what else you do but blanch and shock your basil. Me, I then use a vita prep but don't baby food it, toasted pine nuts, parmigiano reggiano, extra virgin, a little shot of lemon juice, kosher salt and fresh pepper.

+1000 :)

I also make my shiso pesto the same way :)

3200+++
07-03-2013, 06:32 PM
I never blanch as I'm a big fan of raw greens, though I don't disagree with it. I still have some from last year and it's still super green. I do add arugula to the mix for its peppery flavor instead of pepper itself. I also slow roast my garlic in oil and use both the garlic and oil once cooled. Food processor for speed and bulk. Roasted nuts, but only lightly. Always a splash of lemon juice. Usually parmigiano or Grana Padano. Always add a bit of salt in the beginning before adding oil as it helps to dissolve. Then adjust in the end.

aragula is a very good idea. does it keep its green colour over time?

aside, doesn't roasting the garlic kill the olive oil flavour a bit? you basically make a garlic oil so it might depending on temperature...
i'm against salt (coulour) and lemon juice because i see pesto as an elaborated ingredient rather than a ready sauce or condiment. personnal preference i guess

great thread here!

franzb69
07-04-2013, 12:03 AM
aragula is a very good idea. does it keep its green colour over time?

yes it does. it keeps it's color better than basil.

panda
07-04-2013, 03:53 AM
+1 theory's method (especially toasted pine nuts, but as a topping not in the base itself), and gotta have garlic in it. absolutely, use the food processor in quick pulses.

kpeddie2010
07-04-2013, 05:09 AM
+1 on theory i blanch my basil to to get it as green as possible and dont forget to salt while processing or blending

kpeddie2010
07-04-2013, 05:14 AM
+1 on theory i blanch my basil to to get it as green as possible and dont forget to salt while processing or blending

GlassEye
07-04-2013, 03:27 PM
I did a quick single serving of pesto last night in a mortar and pestle. basil, chives, pistachios, salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon; tossed with pasta, grated some cured egg yolk over. It was good enough for a quick, easy meal.

Hoping our basil recovers this year, we had too much last year but almost nothing this year.