Pesto Alla Tra­panese: Fresh Tomato, Roasted Al­mond, and Basil Pesto

Natural Solutions - - Food Matters -

Pesto alla Tra­panese was de­vel­oped in Tra­pani, a city on Si­cily’s west coast. Most pesto con­tains cheese, but, with this ver­sion, the roasted al­monds’ rich­ness sup­plants the cheese’s fatty mouth-feel. By peel­ing and roughly chop­ping the toma­toes, their dis­tinct tang and tex­ture matches rather than ab­sorbs the roasted al­monds’ fla­vor. A touch of lemon zest bright­ens and adds ex­tra can­cer-fight­ing flavonoids to the pesto. Ver­sa­tile in its ap­pli­ca­tion, this pesto can act as a pasta sauce, dip for cros­tini, or top­ping for roasted chicken, fish, lamb, or beef.

1 cup al­monds, roasted and chopped finely 3 medium, fresh toma­toes 3 cloves of gar­lic, crushed ¾ cup ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil 1 ta­ble­spoon lemon zest 1 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped Salt, to taste (this pesto re­quires a gen­er­ous

amount of salt) 2 an­chovy filets, mortared into a paste, op­tional

Pre­pare the toma­toes. To skin the toma­toes, bring a pot of salted wa­ter to boil. Cut an X on the bot­tom of the toma­toes with your knife (just enough to pierce the skin) and cut the core out. Sub­merge the toma­toes in the hot wa­ter for just un­der a minute, and then pull them out of the hot wa­ter to shock them in salted ice-cold wa­ter. In one to two min­utes, the toma­toes should be cool enough to han­dle. Pull the skin off, and place the toma­toes on a cut­ting board. Cut each tomato in half, and gen­tly squeeze each half over the sink to re­lease the seeds. There will be a few seeds still cling­ing to the flesh, but most will be re­moved. Af­ter the seeds and skins are re­moved, roughly chop un­til you have 11/ 2 cups of tomato. Place the crushed gar­lic, lemon zest, and salt into the chopped toma­toes. If you like an­chovies, stir the an­chovy paste into the tomato mix. Al­low this mix­ture to sit for 20 min­utes as you pre­pare the al­mond base. Place the roasted al­monds in a food pro­ces­sor and process un­til the nuts are finely chopped so small bits of the nuts are still vis­i­ble. Stir the olive oil and roasted al­mond base into the tomato, lemon zest, and gar­lic mix­ture. Finely slice the basil leaves and gen­tly fold them into the pesto and serve. This pesto is best used within a few hours. I have re­frig­er­ated the pesto for up to two days and used it in var­i­ous dishes, and it tasted fine, but the bright­ness and dis­tinct­ness of each in­gre­di­ent mel­lows as it sits in the re­frig­er­a­tor.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.