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Monday
Apr122010

Basil Pesto

If you have a mini blender there is no excuse not to have fresh pesto whenever it takes your fancy - the kids can help rip up the basil and throw in garlic once peeled etc. You can also make this in the traditional way with a mortar and pestle - it can be hard to find the time, although it can be therapeutic after a long day!

Pictured: Basil Pesto

1 clove of garlic
At least 1 big bunch basil - or 2 little ones - leaves torn off, discard stems
75g finely grated parmesan, or to taste
50g pinenuts - roasted in oven at 180 °C or in pan on stove, watch closely as they turn brown all of a sudden then can quickly burn! - let cool before putting in blender as they will sweat.
I also like the flavour of raw pinenuts and sometimes go half and half of roasted and raw.
80ml - 100ml extra virgin olive oil, pour as you go til you reach the right consistency

 
I like to put the basil in first, followed by the garlic, parmesan and pinenuts, then drizzle in the olive oil - half at first, then slowly adding more and more til I find the right consistency. Blend to a smooth paste. Must be seasoned well with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

The pesto should be thick but fairly oily - the oil will help to preserve it so be sure to cover the pesto with a thin film once the pesto has been stored in a sterilised jar or container - it will help to seal in the flavour and preserve it longer.

Makes at least 1 cup

Pictured: Fresh Basil