Eastside Road, August 7, 2015—OK, LET'S JUST PRETEND nothing's missing. A few days off. Been busy doing other things. Maybe — no promise here, but maybe — I'll throw the missing items onto this space in the coming weeks. maybe not.
Yesterday I made pesto, the way I always do — I've posted that before a few times, I won't do it again just now. It involves a marble mortar, a wooden pestle, garlic (Rose de Lautrec is my favorite for this purpose), pine nuts (our own, or failing them Italian ones, not Chinese), salt (Ile de Ré), basil (the Genovese variety for preference), Parmesan and a little bit of Pecorino (about three to one, like a Martini), and of course olive oil.
Yesterday I noted a California oil on sale at our local upscale single-addressed family-owned supermarket: California Olive Ranch extra virgin, about thirteen dollars a liter. That's what I used, and while it's certainly not Tuscan — it doesn't claw desperately at your throat on the way down — and it's a little fatter, more buttery, than you might want for some other purposes — it was very nice in this application. We use probably a cup of olive oil a week, and we're not rich, so it's nice to find something like this.
Anyhow: the pesto. I pound the garlic with salt; add pine nuts and a little more salt, and pound away until I have a smooth paste. The salt helps cut the garlic and the nuts: when you have the right proportion, it all comes together. Then the basil leaves, which this time I cut up a bit first with scissors. Pound pound pound until there's not much identifiable left of the veins of the leaves. (Don't use the stems, and leave out any discolored leaves.)
When that's all pretty well amalgamated, pound in the grated cheese. The result by now will be a rather dense, hard, intractable paste. I keep using the pestle while adding a little oil; then simply push the pesto down into the mortar, or whatever container I want to transfer it to, and pour in enough olive oil to cover, keeping the air away from the sauce, and refrigerating it until it's time to use it.
The photo shows you the color. This is rather a skimpy serving, and I added another spoonful or two before tossing my serving before eating it. The pesto was just as green today, the second day we had it…
Green salad, of course.
Primitivo, Epicuro (Puglia?), 2013: a little dumb and dull, a little alcoholic, fruity☛Restaurants visited in 2015 are listed at Eatingday's Restaurants