They say that in the coastal areas of the region of Liguria, the aroma of pesto permeates the air. This is not the same pesto that you see in the jars at your grocer – far from it! Many who say they do not care for it, have only this rather pathetic version in the jar from which to draw reference. Instead, this is the real thing, made from fresh picked herbs, fresh garlic, nuts (more traditionally pignoli) and the best extra virgin olive oil.
Now THIS is pesto!
Your kitchen will smell like Liguria when you make PESTO POTATOES. This delicious dish, charged with immense flavor, is a beautiful accompaniment to any grilled meat, poultry, or fish.
In Liguria, most people grow their own basil. These days many of us here in the US grow our own as well. Fortunately, in more recent times, it is now always available at our local markets. So we can enjoy this amazing aromatic fresh herb all year round. Pesto can be ours at any time, just as in Liguria, anytime we want to make it. The wonderful thing about it is that it is soooo easy. If you have a few fresh ingredients and a blender – you can make your own! Dine like a true Ligurian, and prepare their signature green sauce for your own “Italian table!”.
PESTO POTATOES are fun to serve. Not only do they taste great ,but also this potato dish makes a beautiful presentation on your table. The potatoes bathe in the beautiful green sauce and more color pops through with the addition of sun dried tomatoes. The sun dried tomatoes also contribute a touch of sweetness brightening this largely savory dish.
These potatoes will disappear quickly! Serve them at your next grilling extravaganza!
Makes: 1 1/2-2 lb. potatoes
Prep: 30 minutes
1 1/2-2 lb. Small White Potatoes – skins on – cooked
2 C. Fresh Basil Leaves
1 Large Clove Fresh Garlic
3/4 C. Toasted Walnuts
1 Tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
3/4 C. Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
2/3 C. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 C. Sun Dried Tomatoes, packed in oil – chopped small
Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings for garnish
Cook your potatoes and then slice them in half – or leave them whole if they are especially small.
Place the basil, garlic, walnuts, lemon juice, grated cheese, salt and pepper in a blender.
Run your blender while adding all of your oil slowly through the top in a stream as the mixture becomes a smooth paste. It will become a beautiful green color.
If it seems too dry – add more oil.
Taste for seasoning. It is important to add enough salt and pepper to bring out the flavor of this sauce.
Pour this pesto sauce over the cooked potatoes and gently toss.
Add the sun dried tomatoes and toss again.
Garnish with shavings of the Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Serve at room temperature.
PARLA COME MANGI!
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Food Photos By Tommy Hanks Photography