Friday, 15 June 2007


In the deli where I used to work making pesto was my favourite job. Picking over the basil in the sun was a lovely way to pass a quiet half hour. The ingrediant themselves are delicious: basil, olive oil, parmesan, toasted pine nuts and garlic. They add up to more than the sum of their parts.

Making basil at home isn't really something its easy to do unless you grow your own, or find a cheap and plentiful supply. My own basil plants got summarily slaughtered by a band of maurading slugs, but riverford had big bunches of basil, so I ordered a load and got stocked up with pinenuts and parmesan in preparation.

A. did a trial run a couple of days ago, with a pot of basil from tesco. Very good it was too so I followed his recipe, with the addition of a bit more olive oil to help it keep better.

4 cloves of garlic
80g of basil
50g of pine nuts
50g of parmesan
Olive oil to loosen

Toast the pinenuts until golden in a low oven, keeping a close eye on them as they burn quickly. Then grate the parmesan and add all the ingrediants to a food processor and blend until combined. To keep the pesto pop it in a jar, smooth over the top and cover with a layer of olive oil to keep out the air. The top of the pesto will oxidze a little and go brown, but will still be good to eat.

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