Fresh Basil Pesto

 

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Fresh Basil Pesto

I have just updated my cover photo on Facebook to be a bit more seasonal and I thought I had better share the recipe with you.  This is a delicious pesto. I use it to pep up minestrone soup, to top roasted pepper bruschetta, and our family favourite is to crush hot boiled new potatoes with 1 tablespoon of butter and 2 tablespoons of pesto.  

Fresh Basil Pesto

Ingredients:

50g fresh basil leaves (take a large pack of 100g and twist off the stalks to give  approximately 50g)

2 cloves garlic, skinned

30g pine kernels

150ml olive oil, use a light tasting variety or you can end up with a very peppery flavour

50g Parmesan cheese, grated

Freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste

 Method:

Put the basil leaves, garlic cloves and pine kernels into the small bowl of a food processor. pulse a few times to chop and mix. Then, with the motor running on continuous, slowly pour  the oil in through the feeder in the lid.

When the oil is mixed and the pesto is blended  to a smooth and creamy consistency stop the motor. Add in the cheese and pulse a couple of time to mix this in. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and spoon the pesto into a  clean jar.

Refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving to allow the garlic flavours to mellow. The Pesto will store for three days before the flavour and texture diminish.

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Vibrant and delicious – best keep that teaspoon away from the fridge as its extremely moreish!

 

Stick blender method: just in case you don’t have a food processor or like me you are in a hurry and cant be bothered to fetch it from the cupboard.
Put the skinned garlic cloves into a measuring jug, or the stick blender jar. Layer in the roughly chopped basil and the pine nuts. Pour over 100ml of the  olive oil and blitz carefully until the ingredients are pasted.

Remove the blender stick and add in the grated parmesan cheese. Blitz again to mix and add the final 50ml of olive oil as required until the pesto is blended and creamy.  I like mine to just drop off a spoon. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and a few twists of black pepper.

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