Pesto problem

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Manon Lescaut

Pesto problem

Okay, so I've been making pesto since about 1983 from Elizabeth David's recipe and never had any problems. Today, I made my second batch this year from the rampant basil plant on my kitchen window sill (I'm thinking of naming it 'Audrey'). The first batch a couple of weeks ago was fine. This one is very bitter.

I used:-
BASIL- Only fresh young green leaves with no damage or infestation and no pesticide used. Washed and dried before use.

PERM REGG - freshly cut from a chunk in the local deli which has a good turn over.

EVOO - an Italian brand I've been using for some time. New bottle so in view of the bitterness in this batch of pesto, I tasted a little on a piece of dry bread and on a teaspoon and it tasted fine in both cases.

New package - sampled them before adding to the mix and they were fine.

CLOVE OF GARLIC - Bulb bought the other day and tasted OK in other things I've used it for including raw in salad dressing

All whizzed up in the food processor.

Never had the bitterness problem before. The internet says:

1. 'IT'S CAUSED BY THE USE OF THE FP'-I've been making pesto in the same machine for 30 years and not had this happen before. Plenty of recipes around which suggest using an FP.

2. 'IT'S CAUSED BY USE OF EVOO - SHOULD USE 'ORDINARY' OLIVE OIL FOR PESTO' - E.D. and every other cookery book I have says to use Evoo and I haven't had any problems with it in pesto before.

So. Any thoughts on why this batch is bitter and any suggestions for toning the bitterness down? Would stirring some more Evoo into it improve matters? It's fairly thick and could stand a little dilution with oil. A pinch of sugar?

I was planning on using some tonight and freezing the rest but should I should write it off to experience, chuck it out and go and buy a jar from Sainsbury's?

Noreen, Board Moderator

Bitter pesto

Can you remember if you had a tiny little dark green centre to the garlic clove when you cut into it?

Manon Lescaut


" Can you remember if you had a tiny little dark green centre to the garlic clove when you cut into it?"

No. I always check

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