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by Baby Huey
Pesto. Everyone loves it. If you don't love it -- fresh, cheesy, nutty, tart -- then you're a terrorist-supporting pinko bedwetting commie leftist. Yeah, I said it. Most people don't know, though, that pesto is not a particular recipe; it's more of a procedure. The word pesto comes from the Italian verb pestare, which means "to pound." Originally ground by hand in a mortar and pestle, today it's usually done in a blender or food processor, because we're lazy and there's NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT. So, today, we're going to explore a few options.
So, this is the traditional pesto and what you think of when you think of pesto.
3 c whole basil leaves
Toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until they just start to get a bit dark.
Put everything in a food processor or blender (if you're using the blender, make sure to put the lemon juice first, so there's something to blend) and zap it till it's the smoothness that you'd like. Stream in the olive oil ... you may not use all of it. It's all a matter of how thin you want it. For something to spread on bread, you may only use half the oil, but to mix in with pasta or as a pizza sauce, you will use all of it.
Sun-dried Tomato pesto
Same recipe as the traditional, with the following changes: reduce the amount of basil to 2 c, and add 1/2 c of sun-dried tomatoes, that you've let sit in a cup of very hot water for about 10 minutes to rehydrate.
A similar dip to pesto, you won't use any basil at all. Instead, use 2 c of pitted olives (but I swear to god if you use martini-stuffers or canned black olives I will hunt you down and make both you and your family pay), and add the zest of the lemon that you juiced.
This is something I tried this weekend, and served it over beef tenderloin and roasted potatoes. It was a big winner.
3 c baby arugula (about 1 bag from the salad section of the market)
Same procedure as everything else.
Pesto is good on everything. Spread it over grilled bread. Toss it with pasta. Use it as pizza sauce. You'll never find a better sauce for grilled meats or oily fish (like salmon). Toss with marinated vegetables like artichokes. Hell, just eat it with a spoon.
I need your help folks. Dishful of Metal is always much easier if you tell me what you want to read about. Anything you want a recipe for? Want to give me an ingredient and have me do an Iron Chef-style meal for it? Let me know!
I mentioned last week that I'd been rocking the new Shadows Fall record so I thought, you should at least know what it's about.
Their first album on a major label since leaving indie shop Century Media, Shadows Fall is back and, to beat a cliche to death, they’re better than ever. Their last couple of albums have been lacking (to say the least) as they experimented and failed with some of the trends of the day. The fact that the first song is called “Redemption” is more than apropos, and not lost on people like me; that is, formeer fans that were getting more and more tired of the band trying to do what they could to stay relevant by picking up fad after fad. This album is a return to their metal / punk roots and it shows that THAT is what they needed to do to stay relevant. The riffs are fast and technical, and the vocals—normally a weak point on any Shadows Fall record—are way better. Sometime since 2004’s The War Within, vocalist Brian Fair learned to sing. And considering this album has their first experiment with a ballad, the song “Another Hero Lost” about a fallen soldier in Iraq, it was in the nick of time. I personally would have liked them to stay on a smaller label, because I’m worried to see what major label life will do to their music, but for now, I’m happy with Threads of Life, and if you like a new twist on old thrash, I think you will too.
Recommended Tracks: "Another Hero Lost", "Redemption" ... shit, all of them.
Baby Huey will pestare your ass if you use black olives. Seriously.