Pesto di Prezzemolo

(Parsley Pesto)

This pesto was made for a group of 5 Italians visiting from the Bari area of  Puglia, Italy.  It was made to accompany a stuffed pork roast that was served cold.  We have made this type of pesto often, and did not think it worth posting here - or anywhere.  Our guests really liked it, and asked for the recipe.  Not only did we use it on the roast, but also on the bread, in the salad, and on the pizza we made in The Artisan wood fired oven.  Given that, we decided to post it here, and share it with everyone.  We had such a great time entertaining these guests, and their host in the United States, our friend, Maria, that we decided to name this pesto Pesto Barese

Ingredients

1/8 Tsp. Coarse sea salt
2 Lg. Bunches Parsley (Prezzemolo) - Use the leaves and the thin but not the thick stems.
1 Cup Cabbage - chopped coarsely, and uncooked
6 Cloves Fresh Garlic - peeled
4 Tbl Pine Nuts (Pignoli)
4 Tbl. Pecorino cheese - Freshly grated
2 Tbl Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese - Freshly grated
1 1/2 Cups Extra Virgin olive oil
3 Tbl. Crème Fraiche or heavy cream (Optional)
1 Tsp. Balsamic Vinegar

NOTE :  Authentic pesto is made with a mortar and pestle.  However a very good version of any pesto can be made with a good blender or food processor.  The latter is the one used here. The word for pesto comes from the Italian verb "pestare" which means "to pound, to beat to thrash etc."  For those who are familiar with pesto made from Basil, the same techniques for that dish can be used to make a pesto from any leafy vegetable, or from  a combination of any leafy vegetable.  Thus, a pesto can be made form lettuce, Arugula, cabbage, radicchio, etc.  Each one tastes different, but the methodology of making them is basically the same.  (Actually a pesto cam be made from any vegetable, but here we are staying with leafy varieties.

Preparation

Place all of the ingredients, except for half a cup of the olive oil. in a blender or processor large enough to hold them.  If the machine is not large enough to hold all of the ingredients, use half of each ingredient and make two batches which will be combined later.  Blend or process  either the single batch or the divided batches at high speed for one minute.  Then lift the lid carefully and scrape the sides of the blender cup using a rubber spatula.   Check the consistency of the ingredients, which should be thick and somewhat creamy. 

Blend for a few more seconds if you think the  pesto should be thinner, but don't overdo it.  Spoon in the rest of the olive oil a little at a time and process for a few seconds until you reach the desired consistency.  The desired consistency is a personal preference, and is best reached by trial and error.

Each of the ingredients can be modified to use more or less depending upon the taste one desires i.e. more or less garlic, pine nuts, cheese etc.  Additionally Arugula may be substituted for the cabbage. 


Last updated on: 06/30/05 01:40:55 PM