how I became a pesto eater (…the second time)
I lost a few favourite dishes when I went from omnivore to vegetarian, although not as many as I’d expected, so when I became a vegan I was somewhat shocked at quite how much of my diet had to change. I was delighted that I could keep peanut butter, near heartbroken when I lost my favourite cereal and utterly aghast when I found out that some bastard had been responsible for putting a variety of cheeses in the pesto I’d been eating… So I raged and I railed against the skies and the seas, I scaled the highest peaks and the deepest depths beneath the ground to beat the earth in every corner. With sticks. I cursed all the gods I could name then sought out new gods to curse afresh and, having finally blasphemed with enough vim and vigour, was the recipient of a missive scored into the mountainside by an atypically erudite bolt of lightning. It read: “THERE ARE VEGAN ALTERNATIVES”. I felt like an idiot…
ingredients & implements
Two loosely-packed mugs of washed fresh herbs (basil/parsley or other (as preferred and/or available))
Half a mug of pine nuts (other nuts and/or seeds are available)
One or two cloves of shelled fresh garlic (or whatever the appropriate verb1 is)
Quarter to half a mug of good extra virgin olive oil
Rock salt (to taste)
Pestle and Mortar (or a blender/food processor)
method & madness (& madness & madness & madness)
Mix the herbs, garlic and nuts in the mortar (or a food processor) and crush and combine until you get a coarse morass.
Drizzle in your oil as you continue to grind with the pestle (or mix with a food processor) until you have a smooth paste. Make sure you add enough olive oil to keep the paste spreadable.
Add rock salt, to taste, and any spices you’re enamoured of (a (very light) pinch of garam masala, perhaps?)
Cover and store in the fridge for at least sixty-minutes to allow the flavours to diffuse throughout the pesto and (optional : aesthetic vs. healthiness) coat the surface with a thin skin of extra virgin olive to keep the colour bright.
notes from the foot of the page
1) “any member of a class of words that function as the main elements of predicates, that typically express action, state, or a relation between two things, and that may be inflected for tense, aspect, voice, mood, and to show agreement with their subject or object.” from dictionary.reference.com2
2) This is a call-back rather than a condescension.3
3) Last time it was a bit of a condescension…