Basil Pesto is truly a God sent sauce! It is without a doubt my favorite sauce of all time. We plant basil all year round as we simply can’t get enough of it! And now, just thinking about it makes me salivate!
Easy to make and so versatile, basil pesto pairs beautifully with any sort of dishes; steak, chicken, fish, vegetables and of course pasta. Usually made by combining pine nuts, garlic, olive oil and romano or parmesan cheese, this pesto can nonetheless be tweaked here and there to your liking.
Tips & Tricks
- Vegan option: simply omit the cheese. To be honest, it taste just as good without the cheese. Plus it freezes better and is less caloric without.
- You can swap the pine nuts for any other types of nuts; walnuts or cashews gives the pesto a nice twist
- For a stronger taste, opt for Romano instead of Permesan-Reggiano cheese
- However, if the basil flavor is too deep for your liking, you can sub half of the basil with baby spinach. It will give the pesto a more subtle taste.
- Pesto darkens/oxidizes when exposed to the air. So ensure to plastic wrap it tight and to the touch before refrigerating it.
- Though best eaten fresh, basil pesto can be kept in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.
- If you plan to freeze your pesto, omit the cheese as it doesn’t freeze well. To freeze your pesto, spoon pesto into an ice-tray, cover with plastic wrap and freeze overnight. Once solid, transfer all ice-cubed pesto to a zip bag and freeze your pesto for up to 6 months. Simply thaw them before use and add in the cheese right before serving.
Basil Pesto – Homemade, Fresh & Easy.Course: From The Kitchen, Something LightDifficulty: Easy
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed (or half basil, half baby spinach)
½ cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan-Reggiano cheese
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
50g (⅓ cup) pine nuts
3 garlic cloves, minced (or more if you are a garlic lover)
Salt and Pepper, to taste
- In a pan, lightly toast your pine nuts on medium heat until they are slightly brown, making sure to toss them around. Then set them aside to cool down
- In a food processor, combine the basil leaves, the pine nuts and the garlic. Coarsely pulse the mixture (3-4 times)
- Add in the cheese and pulse a few times more, scrapping down the sides of the bowl.
- While the food processor is still running, pour in the olive oil in a steady stream until the mixture is well combined and at the desired consistency, scrapping down the sides of the bowl (I like my pesto on the more rustic side)*
- Add salt and pepper to taste and give a few final pulses to combine.
- * Add the oil slowly so as to emulsify the mixture and to prevent the oil from splitting.
Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes