From Too Many Chefs - www.toomanychefs.com

July 24, 2004
Pesto

mortar and pestoA million years ago, when Meg in Paris and I were roomies in a coachhouse on Seminary Avenue in Chicago, we had a concrete planter out front. At this point in time my culinary capabilities extended to boiling water. And I didn't always know what to use that water for - my girlfriend at the time laughed for seven minutes solid when I asked how to cook frozen ravioli. Boiling just didn't seem right at the time.

Now, I mention the planter because in that planter, Meg in Paris (who was then just Meg in Chicago, planning to go to Paris possibly) planted a variety of basils. We had lemon basil, purple basil, Italian basil, you name it. At the end of the season, Meg made a big batch of pesto, which I instantly fell in love with. Thanks to my limited skills, I assumed she'd used some sort of voodoo to make the basil in our garden turn into pesto in my belly.

Until tonight, I'd never tried making pesto. When the farmer's market my wife and I went to this morning had basil on sale, I knew my pesto-making-virginity was soon to end. And it did, deliciously.

Here's the recipe I used, cobbled together from a couple of cookbook recipes and an Internet formula or two:

Pesto

3 cups basil leaves, cleaned very well, spun dry
3 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1/2 cup grated Parmagiano Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
½ cup olive oil
Kosher Salt

Since it was my first time, I fel it was important to do things the old fashioned way, in a mortar with a pestle. I have a mortar and pestle thanks to the old girlfriend mentioned above.

Start by combining the garlic and salt. Mash with mortar and work the salt in to the garlic. Add the pinenuts. Mash and press in a circular motion with the pestle until the garlic, salt, and nuts are all well incorporated.

Add the basil leaves a bunch at a time. You can shred the leaves ahead of time to be more thorough, but I took them whole. Continue working the basil into the mix until you have a mostly uniform paste with no big leaves left. At this point, add the cheeses and mix throughly. I had to transfer the mix to a bowl to do this becasue my mortar had no room. Use a fork to mix the cheeses into the paste. Finally, add the olive oil and mash into the paste with the fork.

Taste for salt. It probably won't need any since the cheeses are pretty salty.

Serve on pasta or spread on crostini and broil. Heck, eat it by the spoonful if you want. It's much better than those store bought pestos and you made it yourself.

Posted by Barrett in Maryland at July 24, 2004 9:01 PM | TrackBack
Comments

Sounds delicious, Barrett - I haven't made pesto in years but now is certainly the season. The only small thing I do differently is to toast the pine nuts a little in a dry frying pan before adding them; it brings out the nuttiness a little more.

As for those days on Seminary, I remember the basil garden well as it was the only time in my life I have successfully managed to grow it in such quantitites. I guess Chicago summers are ideal for basil! As I recall it, though, I was trying unsuccessfully to reproduce Leona's spinach and basil pesto and tried so often that you and the ex-girlfriend/ex-friend eventually rebelled and refused to eat any more pesto. Ever. Glad to see the damage wasn't permanent!

Posted by Meg in Paris on July 25, 2004 at 6:36 AM

I don't remember swearing off pesto, but I can certainly believe I did it in my foolish youth. We did tend to be single minded about dinner choices in that house.

And by "we" I think you know who I mean.

Posted by Barrett on July 25, 2004 at 2:47 PM

Meg, do you toast the nuts in a dry pan or do you use oil?

I'm growing some nice basil on my patio. I'm just worried that that the heat will kill it off.

Posted by Todd on July 26, 2004 at 9:14 AM

I toast them dry. They don't burn as suddenly and unexpectedly as sesame seeds but you have to watch them too.

As for killing off the basil, I think that as long as you give them loads of water they can stand almost any amount of heat. Chicago is a lot hotter and more humid than Paris and I think that's why it grows better there. Then again, what do I know? I have only grown it successfully once!

Posted by Meg in Paris on July 26, 2004 at 10:01 AM

Thanks for the mortar and pestle inspiration, Barrett! I am committing to try it the next time I make pesto. I usually make it in a food processor, and for some reason have been a little intimidated by the traditional method. I remember reading that when someone wants to work at Chez Panisse, Alice Waters tests them by making them make pesto by hand for something like forty people.

Posted by jen on July 26, 2004 at 5:39 PM

From my own brief experience, I can tell you that if I took the Alice Waters test, I'd end up with forearms like Popeye.

It's hard work, but well worth it!

Posted by Barrett on July 27, 2004 at 1:17 PM

My second effort making pesto, but first with mortar & pestle, looks, smells & tastes outstanding. Next time I will definitely chop down the garlic first, it takes the most time and is the hardest to reduce down.

Posted by Ian H on December 30, 2004 at 2:15 PM

Hi there i am kavin, its my first time to commenting anyplace, when i read this article i thought i could also create comment
due to this good piece of writing.

Posted by raspberry pi alternative on December 4, 2013 at 6:04 AM

I every time spent my half an hour to read this web site's posts every day along with a cup of coffee.

Posted by kratom buy australia on January 26, 2014 at 4:34 PM

It is in point of fact a nice and useful piece of information.
I'm happy that you simply shared this useful info with us.
Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by gry od_nie_anie p_ugiem on January 31, 2014 at 12:41 AM

My developer is trying to convince me to move to .net from PHP.
I have always disliked the idea because of the costs.
But he's tryiong none the less. I've been using Movable-type on a
number of websites for about a year and am concerned about switching to
another platform. I have heard very good things about blogengine.net.
Is there a way I can import all my wordpress content into it?
Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Posted by James Connors on January 31, 2014 at 12:14 PM

I visited multiple sites but the audio feature for audio songs current
at this site is actually fabulous.

Posted by Katie on February 1, 2014 at 6:02 PM

The proper day for taking the urine test is approximately 2 weeks after having
an unprotected sexual contact. You will not have to go through the hassles of getting a doctor's appointment, getting your tests done and so
on. People also say that after consumption of these drops,
they even witnessed considerable difference in the fatty region before and
after consumption.

Posted by http://Abtolls.com/plviewer.cgi?myhcg.info on February 1, 2014 at 8:24 PM

So a 200 calorie deficit daily will result in a 20 pound fat
loss in a year. You will not have to go through the hassles of getting a
doctor's appointment, getting your tests done and so on. Some have seen
an immediate weight loss, calling this a "miracle" diet.

Posted by hcg diet shots on February 1, 2014 at 11:47 PM

Join in the Vancouver HCG Weight Loss diet program with Drlederman and live a healthier and beautiful life.
Some doctors will tell you not to exercise
at all while taking it. Keep your HCG drops out of the sun
and away from sources of heat, and they'll keep for a
lot longer.

Posted by hcg Shots on February 2, 2014 at 4:29 AM

Hello there, I am a brand new website designer just starting out and
I am in need of a portfolio. Are you needing a new
website design free of charge?

Posted by archive.org on February 2, 2014 at 3:02 PM

Hi, I do believe this is aan excellent blog. I stumbledupon it ;) I am going
to return once agan since I book-marked it.
Money and freedom is the geatest way to change, may you be rich and
continue too help others.

Posted by Yemeni Fils on February 4, 2014 at 11:01 AM

I am extremely impressed with your writing skills as well as
with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself?
Either way keep up the excellent quality writing, it's rare to see a
nice blog like this one nowadays.

Posted by Kratom on February 5, 2014 at 8:11 AM

I truly love your website.. Very nice colors & theme.
Did you create this web site yourself? Please reply back as I'm hoping to
create my own site and would love to know where you got this from or exactly what the theme is named.
Cheers!

Posted by Ernest on February 7, 2014 at 7:57 AM

Good article. I definitely love this website.
Keep it up!

Posted by bars on February 10, 2014 at 10:51 PM

whoah this blog is excellent i really like reading your articles.
Stay up the great work! You realize, many individuals are hunting around
for this info, you could aid them greatly.

Posted by tribalfootball on February 11, 2014 at 5:28 PM

Yesterday, while I was at work, my cousin stole my apple ipad and tested to see if it can survive a thirty foot drop,
just so she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now destroyed and she
has 83 views. I know this is entirely off topic but I had to share it
with someone!

Posted by cellphone on February 12, 2014 at 1:08 PM

Great goods from you, man. I've understand your stuff
previous to and you're just too great. I really like what you have acquired here, really like what you're saying and the way in which you say it.
You make it enjoyable and you still take care of
to keep it smart. I can't wait to read much more from you.
This is really a tremendous website.

Posted by Kratom Blend on February 12, 2014 at 11:09 PM

Do you have a spam issue on this site; I also am a blogger, and
I was curious about your situation; we have created some
nice methods and we are looking to swap techniques with other folks, be sure to shoot me an e-mail if interested.

Posted by juicer reviews 2014 on February 16, 2014 at 1:04 PM

Thanls for your personal marvelous posting! I certainly enjoyed reading
it, you happen to bbe a great author.I will
be sure to bookmark your blog and will often come back very soon.
I want too encourage onee too continue your great job, have a nice morning!

Posted by debt free consolidation on February 21, 2014 at 10:30 AM

I was suggested this website by my cousin. I am not sure whether
this poset is written by him as no one else know
such detailed about my problem. You're wonderful!
Thanks!

Posted by europe on February 21, 2014 at 11:40 AM

This post will assist the internet viewers for setting up new blog or even a weblog from start tto end.

Posted by Woven Labels on February 21, 2014 at 12:26 PM

Thanks in support of sharing such a fastidious thinking,
artcle is good, thats whhy i have read it fully

Posted by CBF LAbels on February 21, 2014 at 1:23 PM

Pretty! This was a really wonderful post. Many thanks for provding this info.

Posted by http://www.fizzlive.com on February 22, 2014 at 7:54 AM

I've been surfing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.

It is pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all website owners and bloggers made good
content as you did, the web will be a lot more useful than ever before.

Posted by http://tinyurl.com/qzlzh3l on March 14, 2014 at 6:19 AM

We absolutely love your blog and find many of your post's
to be exactly what I'm looking for. Does one
offer guest writers to write content for you personally?
I wouldn't mind writing a post or elaborating on most of the subjects you write
about here. Again, awesome weblog!

Posted by video Clps on March 21, 2014 at 12:26 AM

I have a volleyball website.

I have read so many posts about the blogger lovers but this article is genuinely a pleasant piece off writing, keep it up.

Posted by Margot on April 3, 2014 at 12:06 PM

Wow! At last I got a web site from where I can actually obtain useful facts regarding
my study and knowledge.

Posted by http://www.best-home-security-systems.net/ on April 3, 2014 at 2:02 PM

I have an article website.

hi!,I really like your writikng very sso much!

proportion we keep up a correspondence more about your article on AOL?I
require a specialist on this house to unravel my problem.
May be that is you! Having a look ahuead to peer you.

Posted by article on April 5, 2014 at 12:45 PM

I have a football website.

I believe everything published made a ton of sense.
However, think about this, suppoe yyou were to create a awesome post title?

I am not saying your information isn't solid., but what if you added a post title that grabbed a
person's attention? I mean Tooo Many Chefs: Comment on Pesto is kinda
boring. Yoou should peek at Yahoo's home page and see how they write news headlines to
get people interested. You might add a related video or a
picture or two to grab readerrs excited about what you've written.
In my opinion, it could bring your blog a little livelier.

Posted by nfl on April 5, 2014 at 3:42 PM

It's amazing to pay a visit thhis website and reading thee views of all colleagues aabout this article,
while I am also zealous of getting experience.

Posted by guitars on April 5, 2014 at 11:53 PM

I have a website which has free videos of horse training, tips, events and so forth.


What's up it's me, I am also visiting this web page
regularly, this web site is actually fastidious and the people are genuinely sharing nice
thoughts.

Posted by fun4u.us on April 6, 2014 at 1:55 AM

I have a volleyball website.

When I initially commentewd I clicked thee
"Notify me when new comments are added" checkbox and nnow
each time a comment is added I get three emails with the same comment.
Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Bless
you!

Posted by blogmejillones.cl on April 6, 2014 at 5:23 AM

I have a basebaall video site.

Wow, this paragraph is pleasant, my sister is analyzing hese things, so I am
going to convey her.

Posted by baseball on April 6, 2014 at 5:29 AM

This is a video entertainment site

Greetings! I've been folkowing your web site
for a while now and finally ggot the courage to go ahead and give you
a shout out from Dallas Texas! Justt wanted to tell you keep
up the fantastic job!

Posted by humor on April 6, 2014 at 6:54 AM

I have a ufc video website.

I blog quite often and I genuinely appreciate your information.

Thhis article hass truly peaked my interest. I am going tto take a note of youur website and
keep checking foor new details about once per week. I oopted in
for your Feeed too.

Posted by accenture.com on April 6, 2014 at 4:07 PM

I have a website with internet marketing tools.


Greetings! Veryy useful advice within this article!
It's tthe little changes that produce tthe most significant changes.

Thanks for sharing!

Posted by Kitesurf1770.com on April 8, 2014 at 3:31 AM

Ihave a video travel website.

This article is really a good one iit helps nnew the web visitors,who are wishing in favor of blogging.

Posted by travelling on April 8, 2014 at 9:48 PM

I have a mma website.

Greetings! Very usefhl advice in this particular article!
It is the little changes that will make the largest changes.
Many thanks for sharing!

Posted by mixed martial arts on April 10, 2014 at 4:22 AM

I have a volleyball website.

This design is wicked! You definitely know how tto keep a reader amused.

Between your wit and your videos, I was almost movged to start my own bog (well, almost...HaHa!) Great job.
I really loved what you had to say, and more than that, how you
presented it. Too cool!

Posted by volleyball on April 10, 2014 at 8:36 AM

I have a video travel website.

I like the valuable informatyion you provide in your articles.
I'll bookmark your weblog and check again here regularly.
I'm quite certain I will learn plennty of new stuff right here!
Goood luck for the next!

Posted by travel on April 11, 2014 at 1:06 AM

I have a photoggraphy website.

Hi there this is kinda of off topic but I was wondering iif blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you hav to manually code with HTML.
I'm starting a bog soon but have noo coding expertise so I
wanted to get guidance from someone with experience.
Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Posted by photographing on April 12, 2014 at 9:59 PM

I provide various tools foor internet marketers.

Good article. I will be facing some of these issues as well..

Posted by Terrie on April 13, 2014 at 9:35 AM

I have a tennis website.

I almost never comment, but i did some searching and wound up here Too Many Chefs:
Comment on Pesto. Andd I actually do have a
feew questions for you if it's allright.
Could it be just me or does it appear like a few of these remarks come across as
if they are written bby brain dead folks? :-P And, if you are posting on additional places,
I'd like to keep up with everfything new youu have to post.
Could you make a list of every one of your public pages like your twitter feed, Facebook
page or linkedin profile?

Posted by Tennis on April 13, 2014 at 9:42 AM

I have a medical products website.

Actually no matter if someone doesn't know afterward its up to oter
users that they will help, so here it happens.

Posted by exercise gear on April 13, 2014 at 2:44 PM

I have a mma website.

Hello, for all time i used to check webpage posts here early
in the break of day, as i love to find out more and more.

Posted by mixed martial arts on April 14, 2014 at 2:51 AM

I have ann internet marketingg website.

I just like thee helpful information you provide on your articles.
I'll bookmark your blog and tqke a look at again here frequently.

I'm reasonably certain I will be informed plenty of new stuff
rkght right here! Good luck for the following!

Posted by Jacquetta on April 14, 2014 at 9:16 AM

I have a website that has many FREE football videos.

This blog was... how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I have
found something that helped me. Kudos!

Posted by football on April 15, 2014 at 6:50 AM

This website is all about vlleyball videos.

Youu really make it appear so easy with your presentation but I
to find this matter to bee really one thing thnat I think I miht never understand.
It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me. I'm taking a look forward in
your subsequent submit, I'll try to get the hold of it!

Posted by volleyball on April 15, 2014 at 11:22 PM

I have a video website.

I have learn some excellent stuff here. Certainly worth bookmarking for revisiting.I
wonder how much attempt you set to make this kind of great informative website.

Posted by videos on April 15, 2014 at 11:55 PM

Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this post
plus the rest of the website is also very good.

Posted by test powder on April 16, 2014 at 1:49 AM

Can I simply say what a comfort to discover an individual
who actually knows what they are talking about over the internet.
You certainly understand how to bring an issue to light and make it important.
More people really need to check this out and understand this side of your story.
I was surprised that you are not more popular given that you certainly have the gift.

Posted by ______ on April 16, 2014 at 7:04 PM

I hasve a vidfeo website.

Every weekend i used too go to see thbis web page,
as i wish for enjoyment, for the reason that this this website conations in fact
pleasant funny stuff too.

Posted by video on April 16, 2014 at 7:51 PM

I have a vieo travel website.

What's Happening i'm nnew to this, I stumbled uppn tthis I have found It absolutely useful annd it has aided me out loads.
I am hoping to give a contribution & assist different customers like its aided me.
Great job.

Posted by Leila on April 16, 2014 at 9:48 PM

Why users still use to read news papers when in this technological globe all is existing on net?

Posted by ____________ on April 16, 2014 at 11:43 PM

I have a medical products website.

Simply desire to say your article is as astonishing.

The clearness on your publish is simply nice and that i can suppose you are a professional in this subject.
Well together with your permission allow me to grab your feed to
sgay uup to date with forthcoming post. Thank yyou 1,
000,000 and please continue the gratifying work.

Posted by 211.202.2.74 on April 17, 2014 at 7:00 AM

Hi there! I know this is kind of off topic but I
was wondering which blog platform are you using for this
site? I'm getting tired of Wordpress because I've had problems with hackers and I'm looking at alternatives for another
platform. I would be awesome if you could point me in the direction of
a good platform.

Posted by la reine des neiges streaming vf on April 17, 2014 at 8:10 AM

First off I would like to say terrific blog!
I had a quick question in which I'd like to ask if you do not mind.
I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your thoughts
prior to writing. I have had a tough time clearing my mind in getting my
ideas out there. I do take pleasure in writing
but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be wasted
simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions
or tips? Kudos!

Posted by most popular bond on April 17, 2014 at 5:55 PM

We have been passing along free samples of top notch goodies.
To become allowed, simply respond to our comment along with
your address and we'll mail it out over the following business day.

Posted by Inner Wealth Secrets Reviews on April 18, 2014 at 2:39 AM

Hi there! Would you mind if I sharre your blog with my zyngga group?
There's a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate your content.
Please let me know. Many thanks

Posted by Cerys on April 19, 2014 at 6:48 AM

I have an entertainment website.

Hi to all, the contents existing at this web site are really awesome for people
knowledge, well, keep up the nice work fellows.

Posted by comedy on April 19, 2014 at 7:57 PM

I have a shopping website.

Hi to every one, the contents present at this web page are in fact awesome for people
experience, well, keep up the good work fellows.

Posted by Boating on April 19, 2014 at 10:50 PM

I am really enjoying the theme/design of your blog.

Do you ever run into any internet browser compatibility issues?

A small number of my blog audience have complained about my site not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Opera.
Do you have any recommendations to help fix this issue?

Posted by sbobet on April 20, 2014 at 7:06 PM

I have a mixed martial arts website.

I've learn several just riyht stuff here. Certainly
value bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder
hhow so much attempt you plac tto create this kind of magnificent informative website.

Posted by mma on April 21, 2014 at 2:00 AM

I have an entertainment website.

I have been exploring for a bit for aany
high quality articles or weblog posts on this kinjd of area .
Exploring inn Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this web site. Studying
this info So i'm satisfied to show thaat I've a very good uncannmy feeling I
came upon exactly what I needed. I so much unquestionably will make certain to don?t disregard this site and provides it a
glance onn a constant basis.

Posted by comedy on April 21, 2014 at 3:38 AM

I have an entertainment website.

I am extremely impressed with your writing skills as well as
with the layout on your weblog.Is this a paid theme or diid you modify iit yourself?
Either way keep up thhe excellent quality writing, it's rare too see a nice blog like this one tuese days.

Posted by Hassan on April 21, 2014 at 8:16 AM

I have a hunting website.

you're actually a just right webmaster. The site loading speed is amazing.
It sort oof feels that you are doing any distinctive trick.
Furthermore, The contents are masterpiece. you've
performed a excelleent task on this topic!

Posted by hunting on April 21, 2014 at 1:56 PM

Your short post suggests that you really are extremely literate and
great for writing attention-catching articles.
Can you write for other individuals? Allow me to reimburse you for the work (per hour, per piece of content, .etc).

Posted by the ex factor guide review on April 24, 2014 at 12:03 PM