You should all know by now that I am a pretty lazy cook. Often I try and take the easy way out when cooking. One of the reasons why I grab store bought pesto instead of making my own. Of late I have so much fresh basil growing in my garden. I really couldn’t see the basil go to waste. It’s why I decided to make my own Fresh Basil Pesto.
I don’t know why I thought it was difficult to make. It is actually one of the easiest things to make. Nothing beats homemade, as we all know. Just pop all the ingredients into a food processor, give it a quick blend, drizzle some olive oil and we have pesto. You also need just a handful of ingredients, basil, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan, salt and pepper and some good quality olive oil. Although I have used pine nuts you can use other nuts, such as pecan nuts or walnuts. Because I am Indian I always feel the need to add some chilli to everything so I added a teeny bit of chilli flakes to my pesto. You can totally leave it off if you wish.
Whenever I add nuts to my recipes, I prefer to toast them. Likewise I have toasted the pine nuts before adding it to the pesto. It just deepens that nutty flavour. I use a food processor to make my pesto, the mincing process keeps the basil lovely and green. This Fresh Basil Pesto can be stored in an airtight jar for up to a week, just ensure it is covered with olive oil to form a seal. It also freezes well for up to 3 months.
One thing’s for sure I am never buying pesto again. This makes a small quantity of pesto but you can double the recipe if you are making some pasta. I love to use a lot more pesto when making pasta, especially if it is for the whole family.
You can use pesto on baked potatoes, use it as a spread, make a sauce for pasta.
Fresh Basil Pesto
- 2 cups basil leaves
- 1/4 cup pine nuts toasted
- 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 large clove garlic
- 1/4 tspn chilli flakes
- 1/4 tspn salt
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- drizzle of lemon juice
- Toast the pine nuts on medium heat, stirring frequently. Be careful not to let it burn. Set aside and allow it to cool
- Add all the ingredients to a food processor and blend it until it becomes a chunky paste
- Drizzle some lemon juice over the pesto and mix well. You can adjust the amount of lemon juice according to your taste