Homemade Pesto Recipe

Summer finally comes but for some reason, Glasgow’s still pretty stubborn on keeping it’s dark rainy weather. Since I got back from my holidays, I could probably count the amount of sunny days here with my fingers on one hand. Of course as I am writing this now, the sun decided to peak out of the clouds. Despite it not entirely looking, or feeling, like summer here, it didn’t hinder me from making fresh summery meals. The weather might not be optimal, but the produce in the supermarket as been more bountiful and fresh as ever. All the vegetables and fruits taste as good as it looks. I can’t help but buy them all before deciding what I’m gonna do with them.

One thing I’ve noticed is that the herbs seems to be so much better. Basil, parsley, mint, even dill, all have a very rich green colour and smells so fragrant. I bought several bunches of herbs. However, despite making several meals with them, I found that I still had so much leftovers. Not wanting them to go to waste, I decide to make a jar pesto with it. Pesto’s really simple to make. I wished the immersion blender I ordered came before I made it. Alas, I had to use my mortar & pestle instead. With some elbow grease, I managed just fine. But if you have a food processor of sorts, it definitely will make things so much easier.

Now I used basil, parsley and carrot tops in my pesto.  I even added a cheeky stalk of green onion for some added flavour. The reasons I use so many kinds of greens is mostly due to making so much leftovers. If you don’t like parsley or carrot tops in your pesto, simply just substitute it with more basil. I know carrot tops can have quite a bitter flavour, even I find it a bit too much sometimes. But the bitterness contributes to some depth of flavour in this pesto. Though, I understand if you omit it. I may have used too much carrot tops in this recipe too. I’ve used this pesto in several meals since. I made a soupe au pistou, which I may post a recipe of soon. The pesto’s good on toast topped with a fried egg too. It’s really versatile and truly shows the great bounty of summer’s produce.

‘Soupe au pistou’, summer vegetable soup with pesto
baguette sandwich with salami, tomato, padron peppers & pesto

Homemade Pesto

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. (20g) pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 60g basil (~2 cup packed)
  • 30g parsley/carrot tops (~1 cup packed)*
  • 1 stalk green onion, chopped (~1 tbsp.)
  • 30g parmesan, grated
  • 70g extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & black pepper to taste

*note: I used an equal mix of parsley to carrot tops. You can use 2:1 parsley to carrot tops for less bitterness or simply omit the carrot tops altogether

 

Method:

  1. Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan, and then allow to cool completely
  2. With a food processor: Add the pine nuts along with the garlic cloves, herbs & green onion into the bowl and blitz until a thick paste forms. Season lightly with salt and add parmesan. Slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream as you blitz it. Season with more salt & black pepper if needed.
  3. With pestle & mortar: Lightly crush the pine nuts & garlic cloves, seasoning lightly with salt. Mix all the herbs & green onion in a small bowl. Add the greens into the mortar in small batches and pound them into the mixture until you have a thickish paste and all the herbs are used up. Work in the cheese, and then gradually incorporate the oil.
  4. Spoon the pesto into a jar, and cover the top with some more olive oil. The oil on top will help preserve it longer. Store in the refrigerator. Will be good for up to a week.

 

 

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