Monday, July 16, 2012

FOOD AS MEDICINE II: PESTO


Holy basil



It's mid-summer and the basils are about to sprout - the perfect time to make and save a bunch as pesto. Ocimum basilicum is a revered medicinal plant in southeast Asia and a ubiquitous ingredient in the healthful Mediterranean diet.










Globe basil
Basil acts as a carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, nervine, immune tonic, and gastrointestinal and respiratory alterative. Throw in some garlic with it's antibiotic and circulatory alterative effects and there you have it - a gastronomic adaptogen for whatever ails you.






PESTO WITHOUT THE PROCESSOR


Mince until fine consistency



- basil leaves - 2 large bunches
- garlic - 8-10 cloves
- pine nuts raw - one large handful
- Parmesan cheese - 1.5 cups freshly grated
- olive oil - 4-6 tablespoons (extra virgin, cold pressed, organic if available)






1) On a large cutting board loosely chop the garlic with 1/4 of the basil, adding more basil and finer chopping as the two ingredients mix;
2) Add half the pine nuts and continue to chop until minced;
3) Add the rest of the pine nuts and continue to mince until mixed;
4) Add half the Parmesan and continue mincing until mixed;
5) Add the rest of the Parmesan and mince until able to be formed into a loose cake;
6) Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in the olive oil;
7) Use half for your favorite pesto recipe (we like pesto pasta with ricotta) and dollop the rest in tablespoons onto individual sheets of wax paper folded around the pesto for freezing.

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