The Pesto Project

There is one thing that I love more than most things. In fact, I can rarely resist it. ‘What can it be?’ I hear you cry.

Pesto.

Just think about it: basil, parmesan, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil. All great things put together to create something amazing.

I love the salty, savoury flavour from the parmesan, combined with the tangy garlic and basil. I love the oily texture with a slight crunch and sweetness of the pine nuts. And it’s not just the flavour and texture: pesto is so versatile. Yes, it’s the easiest and most satisfying pasta sauce. But it’s also superb on salmon, in a quiche, as a dip, even – dare I say it – in a sandwich.

I love pesto.

Don't you want some?

So here’s my confession. Until now, I had never ever tried to make my own pesto. Despite being a complete pesto enthusiast and only really going for the fresh supermarket pesto (not the stuff in the jars), I hadn’t put the effort in to make my favourite weakness.

I recently acquired a food processor, and the first thing I made was pesto. A little nervous, I thought I’d just do enough for a pasta topping for two. I grabbed some basil (already had everything else), whizzed it with the garlic, pine nuts and olive oil, and hey pesto! (had to be done)

Hey Pesto!

Look at it… So tasty, so irresistible… I’m so pleased that the pine nuts didn’t get completely obliterated by the food processor and stayed lovely and crunchy. As always, I completely made up the quantities and added as much as I liked. I’ll probably think a bit more about it next time, especially if I make a bigger batch (for prolonged pesto enjoyment).

It’s so much fresher when you make it yourself. Not blended to a pulp – chunky, tasty. You can literally see where it came from. You can see the ingredients. And, most importantly, you can taste them. Yummmmmmm.

Don't worry, it's wheat-free pasta

I made just enough for two. And yes, I did add more parmesan on top. That is how I roll.

And now I’m so excited about making different kinds of pesto… With rocket, spinach, sun dried tomatoes. You name it, I’ll put it in pesto. Within reason. (Please don’t challenge me on this.)

Ok, I feel like I have suitably expressed my love of pesto. Goodbye.

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August 31, 2010. Food projects.

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