Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Pesto Cookbook

The Pesto Cookbook from Olwen Woodier and Storey Publishing
due out  17 April, 2018 is a modern look at an ancient and traditional ingredient. 

Pesto (or paste, or pureé) is a traditional method of preserving summer's bounty of herbs with oil, cheese, nuts and other traditional ingredients.  It's super versatile in cooking and can function as a flavor enhancer, meat rub, side dish, topping and so much more.

The book begins with an introduction covering the history and traditional uses for pesto along with ingredients to mix and match.  It's worth noting that along with the introductory chapters (about 10% of the content) the author includes a lot of useful tips about growing and harvesting the herbs and greens to be used. The rest of the introductory chapters (about 30% of the total content) expand the definition of pesto and introduce an international flair with pastes from Morocco, Asia, France, Argentina and other world cuisines.

Each of the chapters include recipes along with alternative versions and suggestions for experimentation.

The largest portion of the book (about 70%) is given over to specific recipes for main dishes and appetizers including a large and varied selection of vegetarian dishes.

I'm emphatically NOT a talented cook (more of a keen amateur).  I can and did follow the recipes in this book and the results were oh, so tasty and impressive.  A very enjoyable well made culinary book that is more than 'just' a cookbook.  I tested several of the recipes: Focaccia With Spicy Summer Tomato Pesto, Gnocchi, Spaetzle, and Red Pepper and Spinach Risotto With Genovese Pesto. All were well written with no discernible mistakes. 

The Pesto Cookbook is gorgeously colorful and well photographed.

Four stars
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher.

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