I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t like basil pesto, have you? Not sure but pesto is such a wonderful addition to a snack or a meal. Basil pesto can be used in a variety of recipes like pasta, vegetables, burgers, fritters and in one of my other recipe I changed the basil pesto recipe by adding avocado and different ingredients but it still tastes delicious! It’s always good to change it up according to the recipe and the ingredients on hand at the time. Its really all about trial and error.
Here is my long standing recipe which can also be used with the good old pestle and mortar instead of a food processor.
To start, get your garlic & salt in the mortar and grind.
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cups of fresh basil (use half/half baby spinach, optional)
Roughly a cup of pine nuts ( you can also use almonds or walnuts which I used here)
4 cloves of garlic
Pinch (1/4 tsp.) salt
1 cup of good quality Parmesan cheese, grated
Start by grinding the garlic and salt and then add your fresh basil (or a combination of basil & spinach also works as an option) gradually and mash until you have a smooth consistency and until you have used up all the fresh greens.
Now grind in your pine/almonds/walnuts
Follow with the cheese
Some black pepper
Add in the cheese
Gradually pour in the olive oil
Finish off with the juice of a fresh lemon and this too is optional
Tip: Although there a many recipes that suggest basil pesto with Pecorino Romano cheese I prefer to not use it in basil pesto because it is has a very salty taste. I much rather prefer 1/2 and 1/2 of Parmigiano (Province of Parma Italy and also known as Parmesan – the other half is Grana Padano so similar they could be the same 🙂
Don’t forget to check out the avocado version of this basil pesto recipe!