All of those are too tiny and an “Asian XL” is actually a 29.5 inch waist. Please help me find Space Pants. Leave a link to Space Pants in the comments if you’ve got one!
Anyway, on to pesto.
Pesto Goes Good On Everything!
It’s true. There are few foods pesto doesn’t go well on. But, what goes into pesto? Like most Italian food, the recipe is super simple and It’s the ingredients and their quality that make a good sauce. You basically just toss basil, garlic, toasted pine nuts, maybe parsley, some parmesan, and extra virgin olive oil into a food processor or blender and purée it. Well, considering the recipe is so simple, that gives you a ton of opportunity to play with a recipe.
This is Miso. Wait, that’s not the miso you can eat. Please do not eat my fur baby. Miso, is a Japanese fermented soybean paste made of soybeans (duh), grains (white rice, brown rice, wheat, and/or barley), Much like wine, there are plenty of different types of miso pastes but in the broader sense there are red(or brown) and white miso. Much like wine, it goes much deeper than that. Today we’re only going to be using white (shiro) miso. Shiro miso has a sweeter more delicate flavor than it’s brown/red cousins with saikyo miso being one the sweetest most delicate ones out there. The problem is, saikyo is super rare and crazy expensive. Check out this quote from MisoTasty.com:
Saikyo miso is a golden yellow miso, traditionally made in Kyoto. It’s the youngest miso, which has been fermented for 3 months and is smooth and supple, like softened butter. Saikyo miso is famous for its delicate, sweet flavor, which comes from the sugar, a natural byproduct of the fermentation process. Unlike all other miso it is not used as a preservative. Instead it’s treated as a sweet delicacy enjoyed at New Year; either as a sweet white miso soup or in desserts. As Saikyo miso is only made once a year in time for New Year celebrations, and has such a short life, it’s very rare and very expensive!
This recipe swaps parmesan cheese, which is salty, with white miso, which is also salty. The miso adds more of an umami flavor than parm and makes for an utterly delicious pesto. Miso pesto, much like all pesto, goes on practically everything but it also depends on what kind of miso paste you use. If you’re serving it on steak, lamb, burgers, or just want a saltier bolder flavor go with a miso paste usually labelled in America as shiro miso. If you want it on white fish, shrimp, light chicken dinners, and the like, try to find saikyo miso or just use the stuff labelled sweet miso. Either way, you can’t go wrong, it’s all amazeballs.
Oof. Is that racist? Why do I feel vaguely racist saying that? Alright, well let’s get cracking. As you can see in the video, making pesto is so easy to do. First step is to toast pine nuts. We’ll be dry toasting them in a skillet which just means you cook them at a low temp with no oil. Toss them in a skillet at medium heat and cook until they start to turn brown; about 5-7 minutes. If the browning happens too fast, turn the heat down a bit. You want them lightly toasted, not burnt. Set that aside and let it cool.
Now plug in your food processor. For most people, it’s not necessary for them to be reminded of that step, but for me it is. Toss some basil, peeled garlic cloves, toasted pine nuts parsley, and white miso in. Turn it on and slowly drizzle in some Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Why Are We Always Worried about The Virginity Of Oil? Why Do We Have To Keep Slut Shaming It?
So, olive oil’s virginity really denotes its level of acidity, which comes from free oleic acid. Extra virgin olive oil is unrefined. Get it? it’s untouched! Like a virgin! HEY! The fact that it’s unrefined leaves it with less oleic acid which breaks down flavors. In fact, if you cook with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, you’ll end up cooking off all that olive oily flavor. Use EVOO for things like pesto, dressings, chimichurri, etc. Otherwise just use light olive oil. Your wallet will thank you.