Classic Basil Pesto

Classic Basil Pesto

Basil Pesto needs no introduction!

Pesto originated in Liguria, Italy, where pesto is made in a mortar and pestle in fact, ‘pestâ’ means ‘to pound’. Great pesto tastes fresh, herbal, nutty, garlicky and luxurious, all at once.

The taste of pesto sauce is highly addictive, and I guarantee you that you will not be able to stop yourselves from having this pesto again and again.

It traditionally consists of pine nuts, garlic cloves, parmesan cheese and extra virgin olive oil. And the main ingredient blended with these ingredients is fresh basil leaves which gives an aniseed flavour which is the primary herb used in this recipe.

This sauce is consumed during summers and can be relished with sandwiches, pasta or spaghetti. Today, I am sharing my favorite pesto recipe and my best pesto tips.

Ingredients

2 cups basil leaves
¼ cup parmesan cheese
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup pine nuts
4-5 garlic cloves

Directions

Step-1

Grind basil leaves, parmesan cheese, pine nuts and garlic cloves into a coarse paste.

Step-2

Gradually add olive oil and continue grinding it until the mixture is well blended or have a creamy texture.

Tips & Variations

  1. I have not added salt in this dish as parmesan cheese has a high salt content in it.
  2. You can add a pinch of salt if the basil tastes bitter.
  3. If pine nuts are not available, you can add other nuts like walnuts or almonds.
  4. You can make nut-free pesto by using pepitas or hemp seeds.
  5. Fresh basil leaves are the primary herb used in this recipe. But if basil is not available, you can use spinach, kale or parsley. You can also use a combination: 50% basil and 50% other leaves.
  6. You can also punch up the flavour of the pesto by adding roasted pepper, sundried tomatoes, jalapeno etc.
  7. You can substitute Pecorino Romano cheese in place of Parmesan cheese.
  8. You can freeze the pesto too. Add an extra layer of olive oil before freezing as that would maintain the colour of the pesto vibrant green.
  9. The pesto is evenly mixed in the food processor, but not smooth. The small chunks of nuts or garlic adds texture to the sauce.

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