I’ve been following a fun little strand of conversation over on the Guardian’s new food blog. It concerns the joys of fresh basil and how you can enjoy it.
Obviously one of the main topics is pesto – the pasta salvation for many a parent. Our kids would happily eat pesto every single night and we’re happy to make it not least because you can knock up a great pesto sauce in about 15 minutes.
But this is where things start getting contentious. To save time, we mix the basil, pine nuts, olive oil, parmesan and (yes) a little bit of garlic in a mini food processor. The result is a roughly chopped sauce that has the right consistency for the kids to wolf down without complaining of any chewy bits.
Imagine my dismay then to read one blog commenter from Umbria expressing outrage that the steel blades of a food chopper would ever tarnish the taste of fresh basil leaves. A mortar and pestle (hence the pesto apparently) is the only way to truly release the flavor of the basil.
Okay, so I knew that was the case with mint and mojitos but I guess our house has been embracing expedience over craft all these years when it comes to pesto.
How do you make yours?