Pesto? No! But this is the Best‘ol Omelet I have ever made. Though the ingredients might remind you of Pesto, we cannot really use this nomenclature without violating the International Pesto Convention. That’s because the word is derived from Pestare in Italian which means to pound or to crush. In fact, the origin of the word is also the origin of the word pestle which is used with a mortar to make the Pesto. In our modern times, we all use the finger in the dial of the electric food processor instead of the muscles of the entire upper arm as in the original preparation. No matter how you do your grinding, crushing and pounding, this wonderful mixture of flavors classically consists of basil, garlic, olive oil, parmagiana cheese and pine nuts. It is usually served atop pasta. Voilà, pasta al pesto.
And although I suppose we could make a Pesto Omelet by using the pesto sauce as the contents of the omelet, in this one all the ingredients are not ground, but chopped with a knife. To reproduce the flavors, all the ingredients except the olive oil are put into the omelet fresh. Well, that’s not entirely true, I sprinkled a small portion of the finely chopped garlic into the hot oil before the beaten egg was placed into the frying pan. The other contents variation is the inclusion of two goat cheeses instead of parmagiano. I used Tom from Adir Dairy and Manchego from Barkanit. The Manchego is similar to parmagiano in taste and consistency.
Here it is, pictured to the left, garnished with a basil leaf and a half slice of St. Mor, also from Barkanit Dairy. This was the first of two omelets which were supposed to be identical but as you will see, despite looking the same, were of very different quality.
I used a huge amount of basil because I was given a huge number of the fresh leaves from a friend’s herb garden. Our basil plants don’t survive the northern Israel winter, but at Alon HaGalil, only one hour drive south of here, the plants are flourishing. But hold on —– When I made the second of the two omelets, I remembered that for the first, pictured above, I had forgotten to put most of the garlic inside the omelet. When it came time to make the second one, in went the proper amount of garlic. I had also forgotten the grated Manchego, which tastes like parmagiano inside and on the outside of the omelet, so I made this correction with the second one too. And here is a photograph of the second one.
The two pictures may look like the same omelet, first on the frying pan and then on the plate. I can tell you that without any shadow of a doubt, the first one tasted good, but the second one tasted “out of this world” so don’t forget that garlic and grated Manchego or parmagiano.
So Pesto may be from Genoa in Italy, but this Best’ol Omelet is from this small moshav called Evan Menachem in Israel. Buono Apetito and B’Tayavon — Enjoy this delicious omelet.