PESTO IN A MORTAR & PESTLE
from Nona Glazer of Portland, OR
Adapted from a recipe from Pati D’Eliseo's (www.apostochefs.com) pasta making class, at Sitka Center for Ecology & Art. Pati's class made two versions using a food processor and using a mortar and pestle. All agreed the M & P version was distinctly better. Contact with metal darkens basil and other delicate leaves. Pesto can be made in a food processor with parsley or other sturdy leaves. I mixed flat leaf parsley (FP) with Thai basil (MP).
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 TB nuts (pine nuts are traditional, I use walnuts)
3 cups loosely packed basil leaves TORN, NOT CUT.
S & P
1/8 to 1/2 cup olive oil, to taste (Using oil makes it possible to use the M & P without crying!)
1/2 cup good Parmigiano Reggiano
1 lemon, zest and juice (citric acid preserves, zest adds flavor)
Using your Mortar & Pestle:
Mix garlic, salt, some olive oil, a drizzle of lemon juice in mortar.
Mix into coarse paste, adding leaves gradually. Add olive oil and juice as needed for texture.
Transfer mix, when it get too be too much for a small mortar into a nonreactive bowl.
Continue adding TORN basil leaves to the garlic, S & P, and olive oil mixture in the mortar.
When leaves are incorporated, add lemon zest, cheese, coarsely chopped pine nuts (or walnuts) and mix.
Freeze unused pesto in ice cube tray; remove & put in plastic freezer bag for future meals.
**Inexpensive Japanese incised mortars and cheap pestles at Anzen's on MLK.