A simple pesto really is one of the most versatile recipes you can have in your cooking arsenal. Most people know it as something to top pasta with but really it goes with practically anything from grilled meats, to raw vegetables to pizza. Easy to make and store pesto is one of those sauces you’ll come back to time and time again when you’re looking to add lots of flavor to any dish you are making. Here’s how to make a simple pesto.
- 1 bunch of basil
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
There are two ways to do it the easy way and the slightly harder way. The easy way is to add all the ingredients into a food processor or blender and just blend it all together, it might come out more looking like a goop than the chunkier pesto you get from a jar, but it taste just as good. If you want to try the harder way, here’s how to do it.
- Pound to a paste 1 garlic clove & salt with a mortar and pestle. If you don’t have a mortar & pestle you can use the side of a chefs knife
- Add the pine nuts, and continue to pound (you may need to chop them up finely to pound them up)
- Add the parmesan cheese
- Transfer the mixture to a bowl
- Pick the basil leaves off the stems and coarsely chop them. Add the chopped basil leaves into the mortar and continue to pound them into a paste
- Return the pine nut mixture to the mortar and pound the basil leaves and pine nut mixture together.
- Gradually add the extra virgin olive oil as you continue to pound, adding salt to taste.
That’s it, real simple and tasty. Here are some additional tips and tricks to get the most out of your pesto.
- Freeze any leftover pesto in ice cube trays, frozen pesto should last you a few months.
- Substitute parsley for half the basil, or alternatively add other vegetables like roasted vegetables or sun dried tomatos for a different flavor.
- Use walnuts instead of pine nuts.
Pesto recipe from Alice Water’s The Art of Simple Foods
Bonus: Here’s a beautifully made short video I stumbled upon awhile back ago and wanted to share because it’s that cool, it’s called The Art of Pesto.
Classic Pesto from Kinfolk
Photo via LearningLark