We have quite a bounty of basil at the Growing Local plot at the moment which has been winging it’s way into many a jar of delicious homemade pesto. It really is a cinch to make your own, and once you’ve tasted a homemade pesto you’ll be as sold (and addicted) on it as us!.
What To do with Pesto? Typically eaten with pasta it is of course delicious; I add sautéed courgette, green beans or mushrooms too. To make it creamier try stirring through a spoon or two of creme fraiche. Pesto makes a tasty replacement for tomato sauce on pizzas. Try pesto, sliced courgettes and Feta as a pizza combination (or as a simple tart topping on puff pastry sheets). It’s also fab in quiches or tarts, sandwiches or thinned down with oil and tossed through new potatoes and green beans. How do you eat yours?
1 large bunch Basil
1 small handful of nuts (cashew, hazelnuts, walnuts etc) or pine kernels
1 handful Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese, grated
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 big glugs of Rapeseed Oil (we use local Risbury oil) or Olive Oil
1 clove of Garlic, crushed
Salt and Pepper, 1 large pinch of each
- Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until you’re happy with the texture. I like the nuts to be only coarsely broken down. If you don’t have a processor blitz in a bowl with a hand blender or pound together in a pestle and mortor (which is traditionally how pesto is made).
- Add more oil if it’s a little dry. Add more salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste. Pesto will store in a fridge for up to a week, it can also be frozen but will lose some of it’s vibrancy.