Pesto in a nutshell
You have probably guessed right, the word pesto is Italian! It’s a contracted form of pestare, which means to crush or to pound. It refers to the traditional method of preparation of crushing the garlic and the herbs with marble mortar and wooden pestle. The basic ingredients of a good pesto are nuts, garlic, herbs, cheese, oil and a vegetable or herb of your choice. The classic pesto alla Genovese is made using basil.
Since the early 1980s, the time when Italian food became popular worldwide, pesto has come a long way! This is because by combining the basic components you can turn any vegetable into pesto. It can be a healthy and lovely finishing touch and to several dishes, especially pasta based dishes.
Leaves Loves Pesto. You’ll love it too!
Here at Leaves we love plant-based pestos so much because they taste delicious combined with our pasta. We also love the ease, speed and versatility of the recipe concept. You can omit and change any of the basic components above if they don’t agree with your diet, taste preference or if you have a food intolerance. You get to be creative, pick and mix the ingredients of your pesto recipes.
It only takes a food processor and minutes of blending all the ingredients together and the pesto is ready. And of course, if you have time, you could even try to to use a mortar and pestle instead of a food processor
Last but not least, you get all the nutrients of the plant in a fun and yummy way. How exciting is that?!
Top 5 Plants for great Pesto sauces
Before starting to make your own pesto, we thought you might like to have a look at our top 5 plant based pestos suggestions, so that you have some inspiration to get started!
1. Kale pesto is probably our number one, a super nutritious version of basil pesto, packed with vitamins, calcium and omega-3. It tastes so fresh and has a beautiful silky and and smooth consistency.
2. Beetroot pesto, another source of vitamins, has minerals and iron too! Unleash the sweet and hearty taste of beetroot as a condiment for an amazing pasta salad.
3. Wild Garlic pesto, incredibly aromatic and yet of a gentle flavour, improves digestion and has antibacterial properties too. Wild garlic also grows abundantly in woodlands in Ireland, put your wellies on and have a great day harvesting it up next spring!
4. Nettle pesto is so quick to make. When the nettles are crushed they taste like spinach and have anti-inflammatory properties. Just like wild garlic, nettles can be found in Ireland during springtime.
5.Rocket pesto really rocks! Super quick to make and bursting with that spicy and peppery mediterranean taste is also rich in vitamins and minerals.
We’d love to hear what are your favourite pestos and how creative you can be with a pestle and mortar!