© David Loftus
classic basil pesto
SERVES 2 TO 4 | PREP 10 MINUTES
Tip the pine nuts into the chopper bowl, add the garlic, oil, basil leaves and cheese, then season well with salt and pepper. Attach the hand blender and blitz until smooth. Have a taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed, then use right away or pop in the fridge until youre ready to eat.
Pesto is really versatile. You can vary it by using different soft fresh herbs like flat-leaf parsley, coriander or even peppery rocket, or why not try purple basil to give it a fantastic colour? You can also swap the pine nuts for toasted walnuts, hazelnuts or almonds, if you like. Experiment with different combos until you find your favourite.
As well as serving it with fresh pasta, you can use pesto in all sorts of ways try it dolloped over grilled meat, steamed fish or roasted vegetables. Toss it through couscous or new potatoes, serve it with a tomato and mozzarella salad, use it as a topping for bruschetta, or you can even spread it in a sandwich instead of butter.
1 level tablespoon pine nuts
1/2 a small clove of garlic, peeled
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch of fresh basil, leaves picked
2 tablespoons freshly grated Pecorino cheese
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper