Traveling In Trapani & Pesto

March 30th, 2011 / Comments 0

It’s been a week of travel, discoveries, Vermont connections and, of course, food. More on the Vermont connections in my next post. On Saturday, we traveled by bus across the mountainous center of Sicily to Trapani. Military jets, headed for Libya, flew over my head as I explored the salt museum.

Windmill salt pans1 Traveling In Trapani & Pesto

Windmills Power Pumps Sea Water into Salt Pans

I saw saltpans along the shore of the Mediterranean where harvesting sea salt has been a tradition since the 8th century BCE when the Phoenicians established Motya, a small island off the coast a few miles south of Trapani.

salt tiles Traveling In Trapani & Pesto

Tiles Ready to Cover Harvested Sea Salt

Sea salt obtained from solar evaporation contains a variety of minerals that make it more soluble, more easily absorbed by food and add flavor – all good reasons to use it.

We visited Erice, a medieval village often in the clouds near Trapani.

erice street 01 Traveling In Trapani & Pesto

Every street in Erice is paved with with stones set in this pattern.

crest Traveling In Trapani & Pesto

Crest on a Wall in Erice

erice old and new Traveling In Trapani & Pesto

Old and New in Erice.

On Tuesday, we visited the fish market. It bustled with cooks choosing tuna, swordfish, squid, octopus, cuttlefish, mackerel or smaller, unfamiliar fish. Rather than ordering pasta or couscous with seafood for dinner that evening, I ordered pasta with Trapani style pesto. I hadn’t expected the pesto to be red but it was delicious. Donna, the cook, invited us into her kitchen and with Charles as the translator, she shared her recipe and explained that she used a food processor but a mortar and pestle was more traditional. Here’s how she did it: … read more

CSA – Garlic Scallion Almond Pesto

May 1st, 2010 / comments 4

I followed the recipe for Garlic Scallion Almond Pesto that came in my first CSA bag.

CSA garlic scallion pesto CSA   Garlic Scallion Almond Pesto

Made with garlic scallions, almonds, parmesan cheese and olive oil – it’s versatile quick and tasty. In an effort to overcome my habit of expanding work to fill every available second, I bought a package of fresh cheese and spinach ravioli at the market rather than making fresh pasta. I made the pesto in a mini food processor. The garlic scallions imparted a delicious and not overwhelming flavor of spring garlic.  I modified the recipe a bit. Here’s how I did it:  … read more

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