Genovese Pesto

“This is the OG of pestos, hailing from Genoa in Liguria. It’s traditionally made by hand using a marble mortar and wooden pestle, but it’s hard to find that amazingly tender Genovese basil in the US, so I opt to use a blender instead. I realize that it’s contradictory to talk about the great Genovese pesto and how much I love mortars and pestles and then make mine in a blender. The main reason is the basil. Genovese basil is a DOP basil grown in Liguria. Its leaves are small, thin, compact, and so tender. The basil has no option but to become a smooth sauce in the mortar. Our American basil is a bit heartier, so I think it works best in the blender, which aerates the pesto, creating an uber-light spread. Of course, if you find Genovese basil, try it in the mortar and pestle! My favorite part of this recipe is the technique for soaking the basil and parsley in ice water, which helps the herbs plump up a bit and absorb some of the water. This aids in emulsifying the pesto, and it also prevents the leaves from bruising and turning black from the friction of the blender, locking in the best green color and fresh flavor.” - Chef Sarah Grueneberg

From Listen to Your Vegetables by Sarah Grueneberg and Kate Heddings. Copyright © 2022 by Green Mountain Collection, LLC. Reprinted by permission of Harvest, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Genovese Pesto

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