Re: [gardeners] Re: Harvesting herbs

Ron Hay (
Thu, 14 Oct 1999 07:23:30 -0700

Hi, Bob,

It would certainly depend upon the kind of parmesan cheese one is using. If
you were accustomed to using a really good Parmesano Reggiano or even a
Pecorino Tuscarello, you would miss the taste of true pesto, sadly, if you
were either to cut out or limit the cheese. If one were using Kraft (heaven
forefend!), there would probably not be much loss.

As for walnuts, they are fine, as long as you toast them first, as one would
with pine nuts. Pine nuts, when toasted, also make a lovely addition to a
green salad with green onions and  plump yellow raisins served with a white
wine vinegar vinaigrette. It is the perfect foil to a main course featuring a
pasta sauce, especially one with a fair amount of red/green pepper and/or
tomato in it. If you are so fortunate as we are to live within an hour of a
pinon pine forest, the taste of freshly toasted fresh pine nuts is a bit of

Just a couple of thoughts from So Cal


Bob Kirk wrote:

> > From: George Shirley <>
> >
> > Yesterday I picked two 10-quart buckets of basil leaves and then
> > discarded the old plants to the compost heap. Washed and dried the
> > leaves and then made pesto. We like the old recipe out of the Betty
> > Crocker cookbook. Two cups of tightly packed basil leaves, 3/4 cup olive
> > oil, 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese....
>     Ever tried it without the parmesan? Like salt added in cooking, much
> of this seems simply to disappear, so you might find you get a lot more
> flavor for the same amount of cheese - or the same for considerably less,
> & as you're no doubt aware dry cheese is pretty intense stuff - by simply
> adding it at the table.
> > We like the pesto cold on pasta or on a freshly baked pizza dough.
> >
>    There the difference might be a little bit noticeable, as it is if
> you're in the habit of standing in the refrigerator door eating shaved
> slices of frozen pesto right off the knife....
>    Amen to the walnuts, though. IMHO pine nuts are something nobody would
> ever eat unless they were too poor or deprived (e.g. Italian peasants, SW
> Native Americans) to get anything better.