This takes minutes to make and tastes a million times better than most pesto you buy. if you can’t get hold of fresh basil, you can use parsley, a mixture of parsley and mint, or parsley and cilantro.
- 4 oz fresh basil leaves
- 2/3-1 cup (5-8fl oz) extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup (1oz) fresh pine nuts (if possible, taste before you buy to be sure they are not rancid)
- 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
- ¾ cup (2oz) finely shredded Parmesan cheese
- Salt, to taste
Whiz the basil with the olive oil, pine nuts, and garlic in a food processor or pound using a pestle and mortar. Transfer to a bowl and fold in the finely shredded Parmesan cheese. Taste and season.
Serve with pasta, goat cheese, tomato, and mozzarella. Pesto is great in salads or sprinkled over omelets or frittata. It keeps for weeks, covered with a layer of olive oil in a jar in the refrigerator, and also freezes well, but for best results don’t add the shredded Parmesan until it has defrosted. Freeze in small batches for convenience. Basil leaves also freeze very well; they won’t be great for pesto but can be used in soups and vegetable stews to add a summer zing.
Nutritional information is based on 8 servings, includes 1/2 teaspoon of added salt and 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil.