Best blogger Janice Tripepi says that pesto lies at the heart of many Italian meals and can be used as an essential ingredient, a sauce or a condiment.
- 100 g pine nuts, toasted
- 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 10 ml flaked sea salt
- 15 ml ground black pepper
- 5 ml brown sugar
- 100 g Parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 500 – 750 ml good quality extra virgin olive oil
- About 6 – 8 x 250 ml (6 – 8 cups) of basil leaves, washed and roughly chopped
Chef's hint: Janice will tell you to store this in small sterilized jars, each with a good seal of oil on top. Never use a dirty spoon – it will contaminate your beautiful pesto!
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Place the pine nuts, garlic, lemon zest and juice, salt, pepper, sugar and Parmesan into a food processor. Add about 90 ml of the olive oil and process until smooth.
Add the basil, one handful at a time to the mixture in the processor, as well as about 125 ml olive oil at a time and process well after each addition.
Once all the basil has been added, continue to process until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking with some extra salt, pepper, lemon or garlic. The flavour improves with time, so set aside for an hour or two before serving over your favourite homemade pasta.
Yields about a litre (you can adjust the quantities to suit your requirements)