How would I describe myself as a cook? An excited one! I research an ingredient to death and then a recipe sticks to my head. The additional ingredients are mostly irregulars in my ‘single’s kitchen’. Currently, I have way much more sesame seed and jaggery powder than I can use.
Most of the time I am stuck with trying to figure out best utilize these surpluses before they are spoilt. Many a fresh herb bunch and stray beans have succumbed to spoilage – rest in peace.
Necessity is the mother of invention, indeed.
So as usual, browsing through my refrigerator, I found a coriander bunch and surprisingly a packet of melon seeds.
It had to be pesto. There was no doubt about the matter. Coriander replaced basil and melon seeds, the pine nuts. Olive oil obviously remained as is.
To be honest there is no rocket science involved in making pesto. Chop your herbs, toast the seeds, throw them in the blender with a little olive oil. Slowly add more oil along with the salt and pepper till you get it to oil rich thick paste. That’s it, you have a punchy and rich pesto.
The pesto gets a hint of pungency which is from the stems of the herb. This is where melon seeds become important as it mellows it down. You can add a clove or two of garlic during the emulsification but I add it during the cooking process. You may have to add melon seeds according to how pungent you like the sauce.
This punchy pesto will work very well as a marinade for chicken or lamb.
100 gms Coriander
75 gms Melon Seeds
1/2 cup Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste