Pesto is a great product that can be found in the Italian kitchen. Its name is derived from the Italian verb pestare which means to crush, and refers to the method of how pesto is prepared. While most people buy it pre-made, it is easy to make it yourself. A fun way to make the pesto is to use a mortar; you will use the original method and the extra effort will give you a lot of satisfaction and connection with your product. If you don’t have a mortar, a blender or food processor will work just as well.
- 30 g basil leaves
- 80 g pine nuts
- olive oil extra-virgin
- 1 garlic clove
- 25 g fine rasped parmesan cheese
- pinch of pepper and salt
To enrich the flavor of the pine nuts, you start by roasting them in a frying pan without any oil or butter and make sure to keep them moving because they burn pretty quickly. Once they have a nice golden/brown color you let them cool down on a plate.
If you use a mortar then add the roasted pine nuts and the garlic and crush them to cream. Slowly add the rasped cheese and basil leaves to the mortar and keep crushing until all ingredients are used. Add around 6 table spoons of extra-virgin olive oil and a pinch of pepper and salt to the crushed cream and stir until you are satisfied with the structure of your pesto.
If you use a blender or food processor you should start with blending the roasted pine nuts, garlic and rasped cheese. Then add around 6 table spoons of extra-virgin olive oil, the basil leaves and a pinch of salt and pepper and blend until you are satisfied with the structure of your pesto.
The pesto is now ready and can be served to the table, used in a pasta dish, spread on sandwiches, tossed with veggies or put on a pizza.
When you don’t use all your pesto at an occasion, you can put it in a jar to use it later. Make sure you add a small layer of olive oil to keep color and flavor. When closed it can be held for up to 2 months in a refrigerator, once it’s opened again it can be held for just another week.