Pine nuts – these small edible seeds of pine trees, are a splendid source of plant derived nutrients, essential minerals, and “heart friendly” monounsaturated fatty acids that help benefit in reducing cholesterol levels in the blood. They are often used in different cuisines, to add a nutty taste and creamy texture.
Together with basil, this classic pesto is bursting with fresh herbal flavour. It’s super easy to make and goes well with almost everything! Pesto is great when tossed with pasta, spread on bread/sandwich/pancake, used as a sauce for salad or Pizza, or even as a dip for veggies and chips!
This is a classic recipe for making pesto. Though it’s certainly delicious, this is not the only way. Feel happy to add more ingredients or even switch some to make your own version of pesto! Some more recommendation for the extra ingredients are: parsley, spinach, cashews, walnuts, peanuts, sun-dried tomatoes… Bottom line: greens + nuts + cheese + olive oil = awesomeness, literally, you can’t go wrong. Be creative and have fun!
2 big bunches(6cups, gently packed) of fresh basil
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
Lemon juice, optional
1. Toast the pine nuts in a clean pan (without anything even oil), shake the pan and let them “dance” consistently. When they are lightly roasted(not golden colour yet), move the pine nuts out of the pan.
2. Get your food processor/blender ready. Blend the basil with pine nuts, garlic and half of Parmesan cheese. Stream in oil to make the machine run smoothly.
3. Add the remaining cheese, season to perfection with salt and pepper. Keep adding a bit more salt or oil, blend until you are happy with the taste and consistency.
4. Add a squeeze of lemon juice at the end to give it a little twang!
One tip for keeping the pesto from turning brown in the jar (if you want to store them in the fridge): always keep a layer of olive oil on top of pesto after using. This seals out the air and prevents oxidation.