Pesto is a traditional Italian condiment commonly used in pasta dishes, sandwiches, and salads. The intense herbaceous flavor of the basil provides a unique and aromatic taste that is perfect for those who love rich and savory dishes. A versatile and easy-to-make sauce, the basil pesto is also an excellent addition to grilled meats, roasted vegetables, and soups, making it a favorite ingredient among professional chefs and home cooks.
In a food processor add the basil leaves, pine nuts and garlic. Process until everything is finely minced.
While the machine is still running, slowly add the olive oil, processing until the mixture is smooth.
Add the parmesan cheese and process just enough for everything combine.
- Use fresh basil. Fresh basil is essential for the best flavor. If you can't find fresh basil, you can use frozen basil, but the flavor will not be as good.
- Don't overmix the pesto. Overmixing the pesto will make it bitter. Simply combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth.
- Use good quality olive oil. The olive oil is a key ingredient in pesto, so it is important to use good quality olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is the best choice.
- Blanching the basil: Some people recommend blanching the basil leaves before making pesto. This helps to preserve the color and flavor of the basil. To blanch basil, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the basil leaves and cook for 1-2 minutes. Drain the basil leaves and immediately plunge them into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.
- Using a mortar and pestle: If you have a mortar and pestle, you can use it to make pesto. This is a more traditional way to make pesto, and it will give the pesto a more rustic texture.
- Storing pesto: Pesto can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you are ready to use the pesto, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and then let it come to room temperature before using.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can make pesto without pine nuts. If you don't have pine nuts, you can substitute walnuts, almonds, or sunflower seeds. You can also omit the pine nuts altogether.
Basil pesto can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
It is not recommended to use dried basil to make pesto. Dried basil does not have the same flavor as fresh basil, and the pesto will not taste as good.