Cantaloupe Pesto Recipe
INSPIRED BY ARMENIA
In the 16th century, cantaloupe seeds made their way from Armenia to an Italian town near the capitol Rome called Cantalupo. The melon was then named after that town. More recently, fruits like cantaloupe are key ingredients in Armenian kitchens.
While Italians are proud that their town Cantalupo inspired a fruit’s name, it was the French who actually called them cantaloup, whose English version is cantaloupe.
SAVE FOR LATER
Makes 1 1/2 cups
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 cups 1-inch cantaloupe pieces
1/4 cup fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon pomegranate juice
1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor. Blend until the desired consistency forms.
If using a mortar and pestle, crush the pine nuts until a fine crumb forms. Add the cantaloupe and mash until smooth. Mix in the remaining ingredients. Mash until the desired consistency forms.
Store pesto in an airtight container or jar in the refrigerator for up to one week. Use throughout the week in the next two recipes. Pesto can last in an airtight container in the freezer for up to six months.
Nanny candy, which is also called bastegh, is a fruit leather common in Armenia. It’s made with pureed fresh fruit, baked at a low temperature, and then cut and rolled. The tradition of cooking fruit leather at home began with Armenians and Persians when they realized they could preserve fruit this way.
Pilaf is an Armenian staple. It’s an easy-to-prepare, grain-based dish that’s flavored with meat, vegetables, or fruits. Rice and bulgar are the traditional grains used as the base in this dish.