200gms,roughly 4-5 cups loosely packed fresh basil
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil(EVOO) + 3 tbsp EVOO to store the pesto
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
4-5 garlic pods
3/4tsp roughly ground pepper
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt to taste
- Separate the basil leaves from the tiny stems and wash them and let them drain all excess water.Try to spread over a kitchen towel to remove excess moisture.
- In a mixer add basil leaves,pine nuts/walnuts,garlic pods,pepper,add half the quantity of olive oil,lemon juice,parmesan cheese,salt and ground to a medium coarse paste.Add the remaining olive oil in stages in between to ease the process of grinding.Do not add water to grind it,the EVOO and lemon juice them selves are enough to grind into a uniform paste.
- Now check for the taste and adjust the salt for the pesto.
- Take a clean glass jar and pour a tsp of EVOO in the bottom and scoop in two 2tbsp of pesto and again pour a tsp of EVOO over it and scoop in pesto and repeat the process and make sure you pour 2 tsp EVOO over the top.If you layer you pesto with EVOO, you can store the pesto for upto 7-10 days and use it when required.
- Traditionally pine nuts are used to make pesto,if not available you can substitute with walnuts.
- I have used more quantity of EVOO which helps it in storing for long and use it when required.Might be the top layer of pesto turn slightly dark,but inside it stays fresh and looks freshly ground.Use a clean spoon all the time and make sure olive oil floats on top of pesto all the time.
- You can reduce the amount of parmesan cheese added and while making pasta you can use bechamel sauce for extra creaminess and richness.
- For a Vegan version avoid parmesan cheese while making pesto,it tastes even delicious without cheese in it.