I know that making your own Pesto can seem like an unworthy task, especially when good pots of it can be bought in most supermarkets. However the good supermarket products are far from cheap and nothing quite compares to the fresh stuff, especially when I had an abundance of it this summer with huge bunches being sold for pittance at my sunday market.
My Pesto recipe is far from being that of a purist – i like to toast the Pine Nuts to intensify flavour and get the best of the nuts. This is easy to do, just put them in a pan dry, on a high heat and toss continually until they begin to golden, but don’t let them go brown or the will take on a bitter taste which will affect the Pesto. Although most recipes call for the presence of Parmesan cheese or Grand Padano, (which is a bit cheaper) i have decided to forgo the cheese because its expensive and i think that the strong flavours of the Basil, Olive Oil and Garlic can stand up on their own, plus on most occasions my use for Pesto is in sandwiches or with pasta which i will grate cheese on top of anyway…
Makes 1 Pot
- 2 large handfuls of chopped Basil
- 1 clove of Garlic
- 25g Pine Nuts
- 4 tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- ¼ of juice from a Lemon
- a big pinch of Sea Salt
The pine nuts can be included untested, as is the traditional way, or toasted. I like mine toasted, it adds a lovely depth of flavour.
To toast, simply place them in a dry pan over a medium heat and stir occasionally until they become golden.
Put all the ingredients in a hand blender and blitz to a chunky paste. I like to keep some of the texture of the pine nuts and keep it a chunky paste.
Season to taste.