According to an etymology dictionary, “pesto” got its name from pestato, the past participle of the Latin verb pestare, which means “to pound” or “to crush” — a reference to the crushed herbs in the sauce. Pesto can actually be made with many herbs, including mint, cilantro and parsley. Most herbs are rich in vitamin and mineral content. Additionally, many “weeds,” such as chickweed and lamb’s-quarters, are highly nutritious and good candidates for pesto. Spinach, arugula, kale and chard also make good pesto. Here’s my recipe for peppermint pesto:
4 cups peppermint leaves
1/2 tsp sugar or honey
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Blend the mint and sugar or honey in a food processor, then slowly add the olive oil. Purée until you’ve reached the desired consistency. Peppermint pesto tastes excellent served atop homemade brownies or vanilla ice cream.
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