Pesto is so versatile, the principle of herbs, nuts and cheese, bolstered by garlic and good extra virgin olive oil, can be taken in so many different ways. This is the classic combo, celebrating basil, pine nuts and Parmesan, but use what you’ve got in stock.
1 clove of garlic, peeled
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch of fresh basil, leaves picked
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
50g parmesan, finely grated
optional: 1 cooked Jersey Royal or new potato
1. Peel and bash the garlic in a pestle and mortar with a pinch of sea salt.
2. Pick the basil leaves and add with the pine nuts, and pound to a coarse paste.
3. Muddle in the extra virgin olive oil and finely grate and stir in the parmesan, adding a splash of water if you like it a little runnier, then continue bashing and pounding until smooth.
4. Have a taste and season with salt and black pepper, if needed. For a lovely creamy finish, try crumbling in and stirring through a cooked Jersey Royal. Serve with grilled meat or fish, or simply stirred through pasta – delicious!
Tips: If you don't have a pestle and mortar, you can use a blender or food processor instead.
Alternative flavour combos
• Use half basil and half rocket, replace the pine nuts with walnuts, and use pecorino instead of parmesan to keep things vegie.
• Swap out pine nuts for almonds and basil for rocket.
• Use hazelnuts in place of pine nuts and replace basil with flat-leaf parsley.
• Go for an Asian vibe and use cashews, coriander and a squeeze of lime.
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