I only started making my own pesto this year. And I love it. Nothing tastes as nice as freshly made pesto – the jars of green stuff in the supermarket sure don’t cut it. In fact, I bought a jar of supermarket pesto a few years back and it would have put me off it for life if I didn’t try a scrumdiddlyumscious lunch at a local Italian bistro which incorporated pesto.
Now I even grow my own basil, so I can make pesto whenever I feel the urge.
You will need:
Basil, a large bunch or two of fresh stuff
Lemon, a tiny squeeze
Pine nuts, 1/3 cup
Garlic, 1 clove, crushed
Parmesan, 1/2 cup, grated
Rock Salt, a tinsy pinch
Olive oil, have 1/2 cup available
Firstly, lightly toast the pine nuts for a minute in a pan over the stove until their aroma causes you to salivate. Be careful not over do it, they’re too expensive to burn. The beauty of these ingredients is that, although they can cost a bit initially, they keep well and most are used in other recipes anyway.
Now for the next bit you can use a food processor, but I like the earthiness of using a mortar and pestle. You don’t put it all in at once though. Instead, over the salt add a little of the basil, pine nuts, garlic & Parmesan and bash it into a paste. Add the lemon squeeze and then more of the basil, pine nuts, garlic & Parmesan and bash. When a paste again, throw in the rest of basil, pine nuts, garlic & Parmesan.
Now you’ll want to add the olive oil. Do so in a steady stream, not all at once. When the paste is saturated enough that the oil is sitting on top, stop.
You can substitute the pine nuts with macadamias or cashews if you like, but I do prefer the pine nuts. The beauty of Italian food is how versatile it is. Nothing is so set in stone you can’t adjust it for your own tastes. Not only does each region in Italy have its own variations of recipes, but each household within those regions has its own as well. Even with the above recipe, Tracey prefers I leave out the salt. Make it, try it, adjust it to your tastes. Eventually you’ll have a tweaked recipe you will call your own.
Pesto is so easy, yet so impressive and soooooo tasty. In fact, just writing this has activated my pesto cravings so I ducked off to the kitchen for twenty minutes half way through and made some. YUMMO!
Our ’BIG FAMILY little income’ Facebook Page
’raising a family on little more than laughs’