I had this great pot of fresh basil, but I knew it would not pass the winter with me being gone over 10 days for the Christmas break. So rather than letting the poor thing die, I decided to make a pesto jar with it.
- A large bunch of basil (just the leaves)
- 6 to 8 walnuts shelled
- 1 or 2 tbsp pine nuts
- 1tbsp butter
- 2 medium cloves of garlic peeled
- 175ml olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 2 heaped tbspn drained boiled spinach
- 110g grated parmesan
Put the walnuts, pine nuts, basil, (spinach if you have it), butter, garlic and 50ml olive oil in a blender and work to a smooth paste. Add the remaining olive oil and blend some more.
Transfer to a bowl, add salt pepper (and parmesan if you choose to at this stage). It's ready to be transferred to a jar. Being in oil it keeps well for quite a while.
I tend to not put the parmesan in but add it on top when serving or not. The usual/italian way is to put parmesan in when out of the blender.
I use pesto on pasta, or sometimes in soups etc, it is quite versatile and has a great flavour to compliment a lot of foods....
It is fast easy, always ready in the fridge. And miles better than the one you find in the shops ready made...
It's also easy to turn this into a vegan sauce: don't use butter nor parmesan..
Source: Initially I used the recipe given in the book: " A celebration of soup" by Lyndsey Bareham