"Is that pesto, " he asked, his voice barely audible. He looked around the room, his eyes darting to and fro, clearly checking to make sure no one else was observing us.
"Yes," I replied. "This is Ligurian style pesto; it's made with walnuts, instead of pine nuts."
Mr. X's expression went slack, the light diminished from his eyes; he was confused. Very loudly, he asked, "NIGERIAN PESTO?????"
I couldn't help laughing out and it took me a few minutes to gain my composure before I could explain things to him, and when I did he was happy to learn about all of the different styles of pesto. I like Ligurian pesto because I really like the dominance of walnuts more than pine nuts, which can be far too rich for my tastes. Apparently, Mr. X agreed for it wasn't but a couple of days later when he returned the empty jar and admitted that had the opening been wide enough, he would have licked it clean.
This pesto is particularly good on fish or vegetables.
Almost Famous 'Nigerian' Pesto
2 bunches of basil, washed and stemmed
3/4 cup of walnuts, shelled and chopped
1-2 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1. In a food processor, combine basil, walnuts, garlic and cheese.
2. Process until mixed and pasty.
3. With the motor running, add olive oil in a steady stream until desired consistency is achieved.
4. Add lemon juice and salt to taste.
5. Refrigerate overnight; allow to come to room temperature before using.