I never liked store bought pesto, it always had too much garlic and oil, so I began making traditional pesto at home. A friend of mine recently made a pesto with other ingredients and I discovered that pesto is a great way to get some healthy greens in the diet. I recently had grilled pesto prawns where the pesto was made with a combination of arugula or rucola as it is known in India and Europe, and basil as the base. For those who may think the pesto was bitter, there was not even a hint of rucola in the mixture and the basil flavor which is usually a bit too overwhelming for my taste was subdued by the rucola.
The flavour of the prawns was mild, not the usual garlic and red chilli taste that I usually use to make grilled prawns, Indian style. I find that red chilli actually masks the true taste of food when used in excess but by popular demand it is a necessary ingredient in most dishes.
The usual parmesan cheese was omitted in the recipe so that the prawns would not burn on the grill. Pistachios replaced pine nuts which also gave an unusually different taste. The prawns were marinated overnight and took only a few minutes to cook on the grill. The simple pasta with peppers, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes as well as a delectable salad with rucola, apples, onions and tomatoes made excellent accompaniments to the succulent prawns.
Don’t just limit pesto to pasta, it can be added to sandwiches, used as dip and to marinate chicken as well. This is a great way to get some greens in your child’s diet, they will love these prawns too!
1 cup chopped rucola
½ cup basil leaves
4-5 garlic pods
½ cup shelled pistachios
Salt to taste
¼ cup olive oil
Mix all the ingredients in the mixer until a fine paste is formed.