A lot of children love pesto – partly, I suspect, because bought versions are often rather salty. This recipe contains only the salt that’s present in the cheese and is therefore considerably lower in salt than many commercial varieties. It’s fragrant, tasty and very, very versatile. Pine nuts are traditional, but you can use any nuts as long as you grind them finely. You can even use ground almonds, which work really well. Alternatively, you can leave out the nuts altogether and make the pesto with lightly toasted breadcrumbs instead – in which case, it might need a little more oil. You can vary the herbs as well – parsley is particularly good. Apart from being a delicious sauce for pasta, a dollop of pesto is lovely stirred into soup, in sandwiches, as an addition to salads, and alongside plain-cooked fish. For babies: Make sure you process the nuts really finely, or try the ground almond option.Rate this recipe:
- 20 mins
- 5 - 10 mins
- Makes about 200ml (enough for 3 adult portions of pasta)
- 50g pine nuts, almonds, walnuts or cashews, or ground almonds, or breadcrumbs
- 50g bunch of basil, leaves only
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 35g finely grated Parmesan or other mature hard cheese
- About 100ml extra virgin olive oil
- A good squeeze of lemon juice
- Freshly ground black pepper
PREHEAT the oven to 180°C/gas 4. If you’re using
whole nuts or breadcrumbs, spread them in a small
baking tray and place in the oven for 5–10 minutes, until
lightly toasted – check them often as they can burn quickly.
Leave to cool.
Put the toasted nuts or breadcrumbs, or ground almonds,
into a food processor, along with the basil, garlic and
grated cheese. Blitz to a paste, making sure all the nuts are
ground finely. Then, with the motor running, slowly pour
in the oil until you have a thick, sloppy purée. I normally
find 100ml oil is enough but you might want a little more.
Scrape the pesto out into a bowl or jar and season with
a good squeeze of lemon juice and some black pepper.
This will keep, covered, in the fridge for a few days.
There are no comments available
- Blueberry Muffins By: River Cottage Fruit Handbook
- Swedish White Chocolate Cake By: hotchocolates
- Courgette & Pesto Bake By: kas
- Nasi Goreng By: bodhibelly
- Creole Jambalaya By: HedgerowHoney
- Pasta and pesto with green beans By: River Cottage Veg Every Day!
- Zesty Pesto By: AC
- Basil and parsley pesto By: River Cottage Herbs Handbook
- Hugh's Parsley Pesto By: River Cottage summers here
- Lee Mack and Robert Webb’s smoked pollock kedgeree By: Three Go Mad
- Seared squid By: River Cottage Fish
- Milk Chocolate and Almond Fudge By: hotchocolates
- Postmodern Cous Cous By: rickyburnell
- Upside-down onion tart By: River Cottage Veg Every Day!
- Mushroom and Lentil Pie By: TheGourmetVegan
- Breadcrumb Pesto By: Every Day
- The best wild garlic pesto By: TheSausageJockey
- Barbecued Little Gems and spring onions with goat’s cheese By: Every Day
- sauted chicken with beetroot jelly By: heidi1966
- Tomato bruschetta with blue cheese and confit chilli By: River Cottage Veg Patch Handbook
- Chillies stuffed with beans By: River Cottage Veg Every Day!
- Spiced chicken with dates By: River Cottage Fruit Every Day!
- Deep-fried courgette flowers By: River Cottage Veg Patch Handbook
- Green gooseberry jam with elderflower By: River Cottage Preserves Handbook
- Summer Couscous with Monkey puzzle nuts By: River Cottage Veg Every Day!
- Cheese Spread By: happycanuck
- Dry-Cured Streaky Bacon By: River Cottage Curing & Smoking Handbook
- Chunky apple and marmalade cake By: River Cottage Fruit Every Day!
- Cabbage and Kohlrabi By: Steff_i
- Squash stuffed with leeks By: River Cottage Veg Every Day!
- Nettle pesto By: River Cottage Bread Handbook
- Spring onion galette By: River Cottage Veg Every Day!