Pounding out a basic wonder

I love to eat lots of things.

Lots and lots of things.

But way up on the list are a few simple things.

Like garlic.

And basil.

And Extra Virgin Olive Oil (peppery heaven!).

And even toasted pine nuts.

And aged Parmesan.

So I hand pounded some garlic and salt with my mortal and pestle.

And tossed in a mountain of fresh basil leaves, a few at a time.

Pounding, pounding.

Then a splash of olive oil – extra virgin – as a wondrously green paste began to emerge.

Then the Parmesan, and finally the pine nuts. Pounded and mashed till everything was smooth.

Just my opinion, but hand made (i.e. hand pounded for a half an hour) pesto simply tasted better than anything made in a food processor, let alone anything from a jar.

Thats what pesto is all about – the pounding. The word pesto derives from the original method of production, the Latin word for ‘pounded’. And thats how it seems to taste the best.

Just a few basic things, each of which love to eat individually, but I love them even more after they have been pounded to perfection. As a sauce, on pasta, as a bruschetta. Or, when no one is looking, just with a spoon, straight up.

I know pesto is soooo 80s. And so over done and over.

But hand made, it is still a basic of any good restaurant, and a wonder on the tongue.

Most would suggest a white wine to go with a pesto dish. The citrus or fruit of the white would balance the heady garlic and oil of the pesto, and the grassy tones of the white wine would complement the herbal basil.

But I love a deep, deep red wine with pesto. Cause pesto has a big, big flavor and aroma. And it can handle a big, big red wine.

But thats just me. Since I’m the one who pounded it for half an hour, I guess I get to pick the wine to relax and enjoy it with!


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