forum: Food & Drink

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#1 Tue 06 Feb 07 4:18pm

Ruzzier

Member
Member since Tue 06 Feb 07

Basil

I grow my own basil and make pesto but as soon as I put pesto on hot pasta pesto becomes brown, the taste is good but it doesnt look good!!!!!Can anybody tell me why?

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#2 Wed 07 Feb 07 2:50am

lachymac

Member
Occupation student
From melbourne, australia
Member since Wed 07 Feb 07

Re: Basil

yikes  hmm.. well whats your recipe?

you using lemon juice? that prevents avocado going brown not sure about pesto.. although i never use lemon juice and it always works fine..

the recipe i use is from jamies dinners

1/2 a clove of garlic, chopped
salt and pepper
3 handfulls of fresh basil
pine nuts (NOT CASHEWS) i hate it all bought pestos have cashews now.. cant find it with pine nuts anymore.. not a big deal though cos i only buy it if i cant be assed making it..
a good handful of freshly grated parmesan
and extra virgin olive oil
lemon juice optional (i never use it)

if thats your recipe then i have mo idea why its going brown because mine doesnt.. might just be something to do with one of your ingredients.

try using bought fresh basil or different olive oil or parmesan.. i have no idea why any of that would make it go brown when you put it in with hot pasta but you never know.

Last edited by lachymac (Wed 07 Feb 07 2:51am)

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#3 Wed 07 Feb 07 2:57am

bcrain

Forum champ
Occupation Duty Free Lancome and Fragrance sales
From Greater Vancouver
Member since Mon 23 Oct 06

Re: Basil

I don't know if it makes a difference but are you using purple basil? I really don't know why it would turn brown otherwise... are you putting the pesto in at the last moment? If it's overcooked maybe that might be the reason? I am sure there are other people who may offer a more professional explanation than me.

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#4 Wed 07 Feb 07 3:08am

lachymac

Member
Occupation student
From melbourne, australia
Member since Wed 07 Feb 07

Re: Basil

yeh you dont want to exactly cook the pesto at all... very last minute..

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#5 Wed 07 Feb 07 7:15am

WaiferThinMint

Member
Occupation Student, Chef on the side
From Philadelphia, PA, USA
Member since Tue 22 Jun 04

Re: Basil

Its something of a hassle, but you could blanch and then shock the basil before bashing/chopping it up.  That will  set the color for literally a week.

Most likely the combination is 2 things:
     1: The pesto is made slightly too far ahead, allowing time for the chlorophyll to oxidize and turn brown
     2: The basil is exposed to too much heat.  The best way to dress with pesto is over no heat, just drain the pasta into a bowl, put the pesto on top and toss

I hope one of these helps.  Try making the pesto closer to the finish first, as its less of a mess and a hassle than shocking the basil would be.  However, if that doesn't fix your color issue, shock away, it will be greener than the Sierra Club for days on end

WTM

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#6 Wed 07 Feb 07 1:54pm

lachymac

Member
Occupation student
From melbourne, australia
Member since Wed 07 Feb 07

Re: Basil

that chlorophyll one sounds pretty good lol

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#7 Thu 22 Feb 07 1:18pm

Rome

Member
Member since Tue 20 Feb 07

Re: Basil

I agree, you'll find your pesto(basil) is oxidizing.
And you don't cook pesto at all. It's carefully mixed into the pasta just before serving.

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#8 Thu 22 Feb 07 2:36pm

indiechef

Member
From London
Member since Sun 11 Dec 05

Re: Basil

but i sometimes make a dish where i cook pesto with chiken.

nothing happens there

question

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#9 Thu 22 Feb 07 2:43pm

Rome

Member
Member since Tue 20 Feb 07

Re: Basil

You cook pesto with chicken??? shocked

I'm sorry, I'm a traditionalist.
Pesto is for pasta.
But I suppose we all like different things and there's nothing wrong with experimenting. big_smile

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#10 Thu 22 Feb 07 2:49pm

Anna

Forum champ
From Switzerland
Member since Fri 15 Apr 05

Re: Basil

It's good, so's pesto with fish.  The French do it all the time, pistou!  Hehe.

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