Fresh Basil Pesto

For anyone who reads regularly, you’ll know I’m pretty lazy so always looking for short-cuts when cooking. One thing I often buy from my local grocery store is their fresh basil pesto because, honestly, it’s really good! I stress their fresh basil pesto, from the refrigerator because a jar of pesto tastes nothing like the fresh stuff!

Every time I make my own pesto, I am reminded how easy it is and then I promptly forget and again, end up buying a tub from my local supermarket. Oh well, this time as I make my delicious fresh basil pesto, I’m documenting it so I can share this awesomeness with you all.

Ingredients

  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • Large bunch of fresh basil
  • 1 handful of pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 1 large handful of finely grated fresh parmesan
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Method

  1. Peel the garlic, then mince it, or pound it in a pestle and mortar (personally, I use a garlic crusher)
  2. Roughly chop your basil leaves and pound in the pestle and mortar, or blitz in a food processor with the crushed garlic (I often just use our hand blender)
  3. Lightly toast your pine nuts in a dry frying pan (you only want them lightly toasted to a light golden brown for creaminess, if toasted to a dark golden brown, it will add a different nutty flavor to your pesto) and add them to your garlic-basil mixture and either grind in pestle and mortar or blitz again
  4. Then stir in half the Parmesan and grind/ blitz again 
  5. Drizzle in some good quality extra virgin olive oil – you need just enough to bind the sauce and get it to an oozy consistency
  6. Add most of the remaining cheese, then season to your preference with salt and black pepper
  7. Have a taste, and keep adding a bit more cheese or oil until you are happy with the taste and consistency

Once you’re finished making your fresh pesto there are so many options for how to use it – tossed with pasta or gnocchi, over baked chicken, with avocado toast and poached eggs, with bruschetta, in sandwiches/ wraps, on pizza – the list is endless! Mmmmm, getting hungry just thinking about the possibilities here. But what about you, what’s your favorite dish using fresh basil pesto? Let me know in the comments below!

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