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Old 06-16-2005, 08:34 AM   #1
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Why does pesto include nuts?

I love pesto and have collected a bunch of recipes for different kinds.

My question is: why does pesto always include nuts of some kind? Just another flavor twist? Something to do with emulsification?

Inquiring minds plus the idly curious want to know!

TIA

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Old 06-16-2005, 09:00 AM   #2
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I would think it is for the flavor and maybe also the texture.
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Old 06-16-2005, 09:44 AM   #3
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Same reason why it contains basil. It's part of the recipe. As GB said, it provides texture and flavor.

If you're allergic to nuts, you can try to make pesto without the nuts. You'll still get tons of flavor from the basil, garlic, cheese and oil.

If you're allergic to just pine nuts, you can sub another nut such as walnuts or pistachios.
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Old 06-16-2005, 10:29 AM   #4
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I don't use nuts in mine...I guess it's not really pesto without them, but it's very tasty.
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Old 06-16-2005, 10:37 AM   #5
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It's for the texture. Nuts provide a thickness and smoothness to the sauce without which it would be limp. In Indian cuisine we make cilantro and mint chutneys and the authentic chutneys always add a handful of peanuts to give it a smooth consistency.
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Old 06-22-2005, 12:40 PM   #6
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Quick question: When making pesto... you use only the leaves of the basil, correct?
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Old 06-22-2005, 12:49 PM   #7
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Yes that is correct. You could use the stems too, but the leaves are what you really want.
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Old 06-22-2005, 05:36 PM   #8
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Because they are delicious!

BC
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Old 06-23-2005, 04:54 PM   #9
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What's the base ingredient for it to be considered pesto? I had always thought pesto meant ONLY basil, pine nuts, and olive oil.
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Old 06-23-2005, 07:33 PM   #10
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A bit off, but not quite -

If you have extra pesto, and extra sun dried tomato pesto, layer them in an 8" cheesecake pan (lined with saran wrap), this way: cream cheese, basil pesto, cream cheese, sun-dried, cream cheese, basil pesto, cream cheese, sun-dried, cream cheese.
Chill in the frige a couple of hours till set, then unmold and serve with good crackers. It's a gorgeous presentation, and it tastes great too. I believe it's called an Italian Flag Torte. (but I call it using up leftovers!)
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