I knew OH was the one on the day he first made me his homemade basil pesto. I made the happy mistake of telling him this. Well, that led to some hilarious proposals down lonesome country lanes with orange and purple dusky skies. Pesto, you rock my world.
My basil plants are currently potted in the green house. I am impatiently counting down the days to full on basil season. I eat, breathe and live pesto for that period in the summer. Then I freeze vats of it to keep me going for the next few months. When wild garlic is in season I make a wild garlic pest0 instead.
Why make homemade basil pesto?
Homemade pesto sauce is super easy to make. Just whizz up your basil, Parmesan, garlic and nuts with some olive oil. The equal quantity of nuts, basil and cheese is my pesto trinity but feel free to play around with the quantities of these main ingredients. I tend to use cashews as they are a pantry staple but you can sub in any nuts you like. Roasting the nuts definitely make a difference to the flavour of the pesto so try not to miss this step.
As I like my pesto chunky I tend to whiz it up for shorter periods compared to the more paste like pesto. On tip if using raw garlic in pesto is to crush it first as you don’t want to end up with large chunks of garlic. You could also use roasted garlic instead of raw garlic if you prefer.
I believe in eating spoonfuls of pesto straight out of the jar. It is that good. My other current thing is using pesto instead of tomato sauce on pizzas. And adding it to mashed potato, well that is just yum.
So try this easy basil pesto recipe or my wild garlic pesto and this creamy chicken pesto pasta from Taste.com don’t forget to tell me how you like yours. Please do try it and if you do make it, then please do tag #recipesfromapantry on Instagram or twitter so that I can pop over and have a look. It is really, really awesome for me when you make any one of my recipes.
Thank you for reading this basil pesto recipe post. And please come visit again as I continue dreaming up recipes, traditional African recipes, African fusion recipes, Sierra Leone recipes, travel plans and much more for you.
Pictures updated in August 2017.
- 100g (3½ oz) basil
- 100g (3½ oz) Parmesan cubes
- 100g (3½ oz) roasted cashew nuts
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- Ground black pepper
- 100ml ( ½ cup) extra virgin olive oil
- Heat a frying pan and add in the cashew nuts and dry roast them stirring frequently till they are golden and then transfer to a cool container immediately (or they will keep cooking on the hot frying pan).
- Put basil, Parmesan, cashew nuts, garlic cloves, salt and pepper into a food processor and whiz into a paste.
- If you like your pesto chunky then whiz for a shorter time than you would if you want it smoother.
- Transfer paste into a container and slowly drizzle in olive oil mixing all the time till pesto is saturated. I add in about 100mls for this amount of pesto but OH happily adds in more.
- Adjust seasoning and serve.