Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Homemade Basil and Spinach Pesto

This is my first time making pesto from scratch, and I must admit I'm definitely a convert. It really takes no time at all, is mostly made out of cupboard ingredients, and I bet it's no more expensive than buying a ready-made jar. Serve stirred through pasta, or use as a topping for fish or chicken.
  • 50g basil leaves
  • 30g pine nuts, toasted in a dry pan
  • 30g grated Parmesan
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 85ml olive oil (you might not need all of it)
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • handful of spinach leaves
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Put the basil, pine nuts,
Parmesan, garlic and spinach leaves into a blender (I like Kenwood's Mini Chopper), squeeze in the lemon, and pour in a little of the olive oil. Blend it all up, adding the olive oil little by little until you have the right consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. If you're not using straight away, decant into a clean jar and pour over a little more olive oil (to stop it drying out). Pesto will keep for a few weeks in the fridge like this just fine. It's worth noting that this recipe is pretty darn garlicky. Personally I love garlic, but if you're not super keen, just use half a clove, or even none at all. You could also add extra lemon juice for more zing.

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