by Ernest Reynoso Gala
2 cups washed, dried fresh basil leaves without stems
4 cloves peeled garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts or use toasted cashew nuts
2 tsp. rock salt
1 tsp. ground peppercorn
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
B) Procedure: Put in a blender fresh basil leaves, garlic, nuts, salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup olive oil. Blend. Stop blender and scrape down leaves. Blend again. Gradually add remaining oil. Lastly, add Parmesan cheese. Blend a few seconds more.
C) Note: Above good for one cooked 450-gram package colored or white ribbon pasta (farfalle). Toss well. For variety, you may top pasta with drained canned tuna (1 cup) or cooked shrimps, mussels or clams, or cooked chicken cubes or beef strips.
D) Pesto is an ideal dip for breadsticks.
E) For Roast Chicken Pesto: Cut off neck of 1.1-kilo chicken (wingtips and top ass removed). Separate skin from flesh with your fingers. Rub pesto sauce in between skin and flesh, cavity, and top of chicken. Tie legs with a string. Put chicken in roasting rack on top of foil-lined tray. Bake at 375 F or 185 C for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Use 1 tbsp. rock salt instead of 2 tsp. rock salt in your pesto sauce.
F) Ideal for grilled fishes like salmon, tuna, tanguingue, squid or whole tilapia. Brush grill pan with oil. Rub both sides of 1-kilo fish steaks with pesto sauce. Grill until fish is firm.
G) For steamed or boiled broccoli, baby carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, etc., put a dollop of pesto before serving. Good for 2 kilos vegetables.