Pesto. Such a simple, raw and delicious ingredient that can be used in so many dishes and in such different ways.
When you think of pesto, you might automatically think of pasta and its Italian heritage but pesto can also make a fantastic dressing drizzled on salads, fish, meat, roasted veg or dips or even as a marinade or stuffing. Pesto is a multi talented and useful cooking ingredient.
I find pesto is universally loved by most, including little people (as in young not short!!) which is always a bonus. It can also be a great go-to ingredient when you’re left with a few straggled odds and ends at the end of a week or you can’t think of anything to cook.
For me the difference in taste between fresh Pesto and the jarred variety is huge. Also a lot of jarred pesto contain hidden gluten and nasty preservatives and e numbers.
It’s also incredibly easy and cheap to make and you can adapt it easily by using different nuts, herbs, adding lemon or lime, olives or even sun dried tomato.
This recipe for pesto is the classic version but vegan as it doesn’t include parmesan, I think tastes just as delicious as a parmesan version and saves wasting another delicious ingredient.
I’ve been working on a couple of very different dishes that use pesto that I’ll be posting soon but in the mean time here is this very simple but rewarding pesto recipe that I’m sure you will find lots of your own creative ways to enjoy!
This makes approx. 250ml, 8floz worth of pesto.
- 1 X cup, 240ml, of extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup of pine nuts, 45g, 1.5oz
- 4 x cups, 56g, 20z, of fresh basil
- 1 x clove of garlic
- 1 x generous pinch of Maldon or other good sea salt
- Add the basil, olive oil, pine nuts, salt and garlic to a food processor and blend together.
Notes: This fresh pesto will keep well covered in a fridge for up to 3 days