Pesto is a simple sauce that can transform dishes of all sorts with its bright herbal flavours. The word pesto comes from the Italian word “pestare” which means to pound or crush. Traditionally pesto was made in a large pestle and mortar with each of the ingredients being added and pounded until the right consistency was reached. In modern recipes, a food processor is often used to speed things up.
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There is nothing like homemade pesto. You can make pesto and keep it in the fridge for later use. In fact, I find it very convenient to have a jar of pesto in the fridge. It is like a time-saving magic jar for escorting a zest of fanciness to simple foods. Salads, sandwiches, or homemade pizzas the enticing aromas and the flavourful flick is so easy with pesto. Pesto pasta with marinated cherry tomatoes is one of my favourites food.
I would prefer fresh pesto every time though, but time is always at a stretch when you are a mother, homemakers and you have desires to excel at work too. So I adjust with jarred pesto most of the time, which is quite a treat for me.
Pesto on its on does not take very long to make, it’s quite a quick do, in a food processor. Few points to go through before you we move forward with the recipe.
Always use good quality ingredients for good results. It is made with basil, pine nuts, Parmesan, garlic, salt, lemon and olive oil.
It is important to use fresh basil. Basil is the heart of the flavour and aroma for pesto.
Pine nuts are the traditional choice. Pine nuts are tender, buttery and high in fat, so they yield smoother silkier pesto. Almond or walnuts are the closest substitutes for pine nuts.
Red pesto is actually a classic Sicilian recipe and is made with almonds and sun-dried tomatoes.
Vegan pestos use creamy cashews and brazil nuts to stand in for the missing cheese.
Parmesan is salty and creamy, the best part of pesto. It adds a little saltiness and helps the pesto stick together.
Garlic is a traditional component that livens up the pesto with aromatics and makes it taste a whole lot more interesting.
Lemon juice brightens up the flavour without adding more salt. Many recipes give lemon juice an optional tag, but 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice brightens everything up and really helps the other flavours shine.
Extra-virgin olive oil is used for the highest quality of pesto.
You can freeze the pesto for up to 2-3 months. You can freeze it in greased ice cube trays and thaw small portions at a time.
How to store in a jar – The main issue to be concerned with when it comes to storing basil is that it can turn brown. Pour a layer of olive oil on top to prevent air entering and oxidizing it. Alternatively, you can press plastic wrap right onto the top of the pesto.
Basil Pesto Recipe
- Food Processor
- Combine the basil, nuts, Parmesan, lemon juice, garlic and salt in a food processor. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Continue processing https://amzn.to/3g3ucFG until the mixture is well blended but still has some texture, pausing to scrape down the sides as necessary.
- Taste, and adjust if necessary. Add a pinch of salt if the basil tastes too bitter or the pesto needs more zing. Add more Parmesan if you’d like a creamier/cheesier pesto. If desired, you can thin out the pesto with more olive oil.