This coastal region is home to many culinary delights that go beyond the fruits of the sea.
The region of Liguria, often referred to as the Italian Riviera, is one of the most beautiful coastal regions in the world, where softly coloured buildings rise up from rocky outcroppings and where moored fishing boats bob on gentle waves. Naturally, with its 300 km of coastline, seafood is one of the specialities here. But the picturesque and geographically varied region is also home to the Taggiasca olive, which is grown only in Western Liguria, and creates some of the best olive oil in the world. Fruity with notes of stone fruit and nuts, and an extremely low acidity, the best bear the DOP certification.
Also from this region is an ingredient we all know and love: Pesto Genovese. The incomparable blend of olive oil, basil, garlic, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino and pine nuts is a staple sauce in Ligurian cooking and traditionally made with a pestle and mortar. Look for it in jars imported from Italy, or make it at home with local fresh basil and garlic, and authentic Italian ingredients. Use it to top pizza, as a sandwich spread, in lasagna, or as a dip for crudité. A spoonful of pesto is a lovely garnish for vegetable soup, and can be added to extra virgin olive oil and white wine vinegar for a dressing. The flavour of pesto marries beautifully with cheeses, tomato, breads, soups, cooked vegetables, chicken and, naturally, fish!