Environmental Emotional

Shisho (Tito / Perilla / Purple Mint) Black Sesame Pesto

In Vegan Cooking Lessons Portland, Vegan Recipes on August 31, 2011 at 11:47 pm

Ah, the many names for purple mint.

(photo, courtesy of: http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perilla)

It’s curryish mint bite is nice with the dark roasty, fatty feel of black sesame.  That’s what inspired this long-winded recipe.  It’s great with rice fettuccine, or in hollowed out mini-cucumber cups.

Grind about 2/3 C black sesame seeds (any asian market should have them) in bean grinder.

Take those seeds and grind in food processor with all of this:

About “two thumbs” worth of fresh, peeled ginger
2C rinsed and roughly chopped watercress, stems and all
1C or one bunch rinsed tito leaves with bottom roughest parts of stems removed (this is also called purple mint or shiso, depending on where you get it.
2T sesame oil
1T olive oil
5T brewed/aged rice vinegar (also called sushi vinegar or seasoned rice vinegar. Don’t get from chinese section, get from japanese section)  If you can’t find this, just 3T white vinegar and 1 tsp. sugar.
2+T soy sauce (then add more to taste after grinding if needed).
1C roughly chopped white cabbage
1 large, roughly chopped carrot
2 cloves garlic
5 blackened scallions with root tips removed (just fry them at super high heat in a tablespoon of olive oil until they blacken a bit)

I’d recommend serving it with melon or melon juice as a complement.

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