White sauce or tomato sauce is the common go-to sauce with pasta and other dishes. What many people don’t know is the exceptional taste pesto can give it. This sauce originates from Genoa and is made from pounding fresh basil leaves, pine nuts, olive oil, parmesan cheese, garlic with herbs like chive, cilantro, mint, and walnuts together to make a thick green paste.
With the advent of improved home appliances, the preparation of the sauce has been made easier. Instead of the custom grounding together of the aromatic ingredients to make the sauce, it is more common nowadays to use a blender or food processor to prepare it.
What does pesto taste like? The sauce has either a garlic, basil, or parsley taste with an extra creamy texture. The addition of good quality olive oil gives it a tone of grassy flavor. The creaminess, bright, herby, and salty taste it possesses is as a result of the addition of basil and cheese.
To get an excellent taste from pesto, no ingredient should be in excess or insufficient. You should be able to feel the flavor of each ingredient individually in your taste buds.
An advantage of pesto is that it can be easily made from the comfort of your home.
Nutritional Benefits of Pesto
Dishes are more appreciated when you know they do not only bring satisfaction to your stomach but also help in sustaining a healthy life. The individual constituents of pesto contain vitamins and minerals that keep the human body healthy.
It contains vitamin C and vitamin E that serve as antioxidants antidote in the body. They help reduce and sometimes prevent damage to the cells, thereby minimizing the rate of human skin and hair aging, reducing bone loss, and fighting against cancer, heart disease, and other life-threatening diseases.
Strong and healthy bone is essential for carrying out our daily activities. Consuming pesto provides the body with calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium that aid strong bones.
Pesto is a manganese-rich sauce. It helps aid the process of the body breaking food down to absorb energy. It also helps in improving the circulatory system by fast-tracking the process of blood clotting.
Culinary Uses of Pesto
Pesto is one of the best food sauces you will get from the market and it is simple to prepare at home. It is commonly eaten with pasta but its culinary efficiency is not limited to that. There are so many ways you can spice up a dish with pesto sauce. Family gatherings, parties, and picnics can be lightened up with pesto torte. Layer the mixture of herbs and nuts between finely sliced cream cheese and sun-dried tomatoes.
Pesto can be used to enhance the taste of various appetizers. Spread pesto over crostini and top it with a halved grape tomato or a slice of parmesan cheese. Also, it can be used as a sauce for shrimp cocktails. The herby basting sauce can be mixed with a bit of sour cream, cream cheese, or yogurt to serve as a dip for vegetables and chips. You can then top baked brie with this mixture.
Even though pesto is sufficient on its own, it can be combined with other food ingredients to boost the taste of dishes. Pesto can be used to dress up a salad. Mix it with olive oil and mayonnaise to make a perfect dressing for tuna, chicken, meat, and pasta salads.
Have you been looking for a substitute for mayonnaise and mustard in your sandwich? Pesto is a great choice. Spread a little quantity of the sauce over your bread before layering it with beef and other fillings to bring an extra flavor. It is also perfectly added to tomato-mozzarella panini.
Pesto is a perfect sauce for meat, fish, chicken, pork, and vegetables. Spread the sauce over a carefully grilled balsamic chicken or thin it out with a little quantity of olive oil so you can easily spoon it out of your meat. Also, you can top your pizza with this pesto instead of the regular red sauce.
Where Did Pesto Originate From? How Do You Procure It?
Pesto sauce originated from Genoa, a region in Northern Italy. The iconic green sauce is a very old cuisine. An old Latin poem described pounding herbs, cheese, vinegar, and olive oil together in Europe to make food. Pesto is possibly the oldest sauce in the history of European cuisine.
The perfect combination of mineral-rich seaside soil and temperate climate of Genoa that helps the germination of basil, the main ingredient in preparing pesto has made it become a favorite sauce in Northern Italy.
Pesto became popular in the united states of America in the early ’70s and graduated from being made from grounding its ingredients in Mortar and pestle to being sold in preserved form in grocery stores around the world. Homemade and store-bought pesto can be stored in the freezer to prevent spoilage.
Before using frozen pesto, allow it to thaw for about 15 minutes, and make sure you stir it well. This is to prevent the olive oil from separating from the remaining ingredients.
Why Does Pesto Taste Bitter?
The extra olive oil in pesto contains a bitter-tasting compound known as polyphenols which are coated with fatty acid. This constituent prevents the mixture from dispersing. You can bypass this bitter taste by adding cream cheese and pine nuts.
Facts You Didn’t Know About Pesto
- Pesto is coined from the past tense of a Genoese verb ‘pestare’. It means to crush. Crushing of the ingredients to make the sauce is gotten from this.
- Pesto is also known as pesto alla Genovese in Italy.
- There is a world Pesto championship organized in Genoa, Italy by the cultural association of Italian Gourmets bi-annually.