Easy Homemade Pesto

I came to the Pesto Party a bit late in life (I’m a peculiar sort of person who doesn’t eat pasta) but it’s the ultimate accompaniment to any summer meal. It works with meat, fish, potatoes and even cheese on toast (try it!)

It turns out it’s also incredibly easy to make. There are two methods you can use – the blender or the pestle and mortar. The blender is by far the easiest to use and will create the kind of pesto you are used to picking up in the supermarket. The pestle and mortar is the more traditional method and creates a chunkier pesto with stronger flavours.

For either method you should adjust the quantities below according to your taste preference:

2 Packs of Fresh Basil (or 2 bunches)

30g Pine Nuts

4 Cloves Garlic

7 Tsp of Grated Parmesan

Pinch of Salt & Pepper

Drizzle of Olive Oil

I’ll start with the blender method as it’s the easiest:

  1. Blend the basil until it’s finely chopped
  2. Next add the pine nuts and blend until they are coarsely chopped
  3. Add the garlic (whole cloves) and blend again
  4. Add in the seasoning and olive oil and mix to combine
  5. Stir in the parmesan

If you’re using a Pestle and Mortar, it takes a little bit more work:

  1. Grind the Pine Nuts until they reach a paste-like consistency
  2. Next add the garlic. You can do this as a whole clove (skin off) or to speed things up, use a garlic press.
  3. Add the Basil in small batches and grind
  4. Sprinkling Salt in between the batches will help the basil to break down more easily, but be careful not to over-salt.
  5. Stir in the remainder of the Seasoning and the Parmesan
  6. Stir in the Olive Oil

For both methods, remember to taste the mixture once all of the ingredients have been added – if it’s too nutty, add more basil, if it’s too peppery add more cheese.

Finally, if you aren’t using the pesto immediately, transfer it to a jar, tap it down and cover the top with a generous layer of olive oil. This will help preserve it and should mean it lasts for a few weeks in the fridge.