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15 March 2009


Pesto was one of the first recipes that I started making from scratch instead of purchasing it. I don't really like the taste of store bought pesto, something about it never tastes quite right to me.

I actually have not made pesto very much lately, it has sort of fallen out of my repertoire. Not that I don't like it anymore, I just started making other dishes more often.

Today I have made some because I am using it in a "Quick Lasagne" recipe (this recipe should be posted in a few days). It is very hard for me to give precise quantities, like a lot of my cooking, I add ingredients by feel and measure very little. With pesto I just keep adding whatever I think it needs until it tastes right. But I have given it a go below.

I have used extra virgin olive oil below (because that is what I had), but to be honest, I think that in this batch of pesto the taste of the olive oil is a little overpowering, it is quite a peppery olive oil. If you have a strong olive oil, I would be inclined to either use half extra virgin olive oil and half regular olive oil, or just regular olive oil alone. But this also depends on how you are using the pesto. As I am using this in another dish with many ingredients, the strong taste is fine. If I was serving it as a dip, I would probably try and tone the flavour down, or make another batch.

My tip is taste as you go and add any ingredient you think the pesto needs more of.

1 bunch basil (sometimes I use half basil, half parsley as some people find the basil too powerful a taste)
2 tablespoons pine nuts lightly toasted
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the basil, pine nuts, lemon juice, parmesan and garlic in a food processor. Process to combine. Slowly add the olive oil while the motor is running. Continue to process until the pesto reaches your desired consistency. Taste the pesto and season to taste.

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