Bloggy friends, home made pesto is adorable.  Just adorable.

This is my first adventure with it, and I am sold, and am convinced that it is worth the effort.

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • ⅓ cup pine nuts
  • ⅔ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • garlic (I used one large-ish teaspoon of crushed, but you can experiment with your quantity)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • a squeeze of lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

First, wash and dry your basil leaves. Your hands will smell incredible after working with this aromatic herb :)

Next, gather your other ingredients and measure the quantities.

Lightly, lightly, toast your pine nuts. (The quantity of pine nuts in the photo was for four batches of pesto.)

You can toast them in the oven but it’s summer here, making the oven my mortal enemy.  So, if it’s hot, toast them dry (the heat will bring out the natural oils) in a fry pan over a low heat.  Be sure to move them constantly, and take them off the heat a little sooner than you think – they will keep cooking for a bit, even when removed from the heat source.

There are two ways you can tackle this pesto chopping business: by hand, or in the food processor.  I went with the “pretend I’m Italian and have nothing better to do” option, and did it by hand, but I’m sure it would still be glorious in the food processor.

Whichever method you choose, try adding a portion of all your ingredients in progressive stages.  At the end you will have some very finely chopped, saucy ingredients, and some in larger sizes that impart a distinct and personal flavour.

After the chopping process is complete, add a squeeze of lemon juice, seasoning to taste, and olive oil to your desired texture.  Squish it into a container, making the top smooth, and seal with a layer of olive oil – that is, if you don’t run off and make a big dish of chicken and pesto pasta – pronto! :D

pssst….  I forgot to mention; if you make multiple batches, it will keep in the freezer for several months.  :)

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