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Peruvian Pesto (Tallarines Verdes)
Waves of Italians from Genoa poured into Peru in the mid-1800's. Instead of peppery basil, parmesan and pine nuts the Italian immigrants in Peru used sweet spinach, cream (replacement for oil) and queso fresco (replacement for Parmesan). Walnuts or pecans were substituted for pine nuts. (When they first came these items weren't readily available basil, olive oil, pine nuts and pasta.)
Serving suggestions (with lime wedges and/or Parmesan)
- over tenderloin
- with fish
- with pasta
- with rice
- with potatoes
- over fried egg(s)
- with green beans
- with steamed or slightly sauteed zucchinis, asparagus, fava beans and peas.
Italian Pesto (Pesto Genovese or Pesto alla Genovese)
Other Pestos: Pesto alla siciliana, sometimes called pesto rosso (red pesto), is a sauce from Sicily similar to pesto alla genovese but with the addition of tomato, almonds instead of pine nuts, and much less basil. Pesto alla calabrese is a sauce from Calabria consisting of (grilled) bell peppers, black pepper and more; these ingredients give it a distinctively spicy taste.
Pistou (a French version of pesto)
The sauce is derived from the Genoese pesto, which is traditionally made of garlic, basil, pine nuts, grated Sardinian Pecorino, and olive oil, crushed and mixed together with a mortar and pestle. The key difference between pistou and pesto is the absence of pine nuts in pistou.
Pistou is a typical condiment from the Provence region of France most often associated with the Provençal dish soupe au pistou, which resembles ministrone and may include white beans, green beans, tomatoes, summer squash, potatoes, and pasta. The pistou is incorporated into the soup just before serving.
Gruyere cheese is used in Nice. Some regions substitute Parmesan Cheese. In Liguria, Pecorino, a hard sheep's milk cheese from Sardinia or Corsica is used. Whatever cheese is used, it is preferred that it not be a "stringy" cheese, so that when it melts in a hot liquid (like in the pistou soup, for instance), it does not melt into long strands.
Persillade is the culinary term for a chopped mixture of garlic and parsley, usually in equal parts by volume. The root of the word is persil, the French word for parsley. Simple to make, but a common ingredient in many dishes, it is often included in a sauté cook's stapes. It can be added early in a dish for a mellow flavour, added at the very end of the cooking to provide a garlicky jolt, or even used raw as a garnish.
SERVING SUGGESTIONS: A classic French bistro dish is Pommes persillard, basically cubed potatoes fried in small amount of oil, with persillade added at the end of the cooking. New Orleans chef Austin Leslie's signature dish was Fried Chicken with Persillade--basically fried chicken with the garlic and parsley mixture added as a garnish.