The best basil pesto

Basil Pesto

Serves 6-8

  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled

  • sea salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • a large bunch of fresh basil, leaves picked

  • 50 g pine nuts

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 50 g Parmesan, finely grated

  • Optional:

  • 1 cooked jersey royal or new potato

Bash the garlic in a pestle and mortar with a pinch of salt. Add the basil leaves and pine nuts and pound to a coarse paste. Muddle in the extra virgin olive oil and stir in the Parmesan, adding a splash of water if you like it a little runnier, then continue bashing and pounding until smooth.



Have a taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed. For a lovely creamy finish, try crumbling in and stirring through a cooked Jersey Royal. Serve with grilled meat or fish, or simply stirred through pasta – delicious!

Nutritional Information

The best basil pesto

The Italian classic with basil, Parmesan and pine nuts

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This easy, beautiful pesto recipe is absolutely bursting with fresh herby flavour
Serves 6-8
05m
Super easy
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Method

Bash the garlic in a pestle and mortar with a pinch of salt. Add the basil leaves and pine nuts and pound to a coarse paste. Muddle in the extra virgin olive oil and stir in the Parmesan, adding a splash of water if you like it a little runnier, then continue bashing and pounding until smooth.

Have a taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed. For a lovely creamy finish, try crumbling in and stirring through a cooked Jersey Royal. Serve with grilled meat or fish, or simply stirred through pasta – delicious!

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Whether it's delicious vegetarian or vegan recipes you're after, or ideas for gluten or dairy-free dishes, you'll find plenty here to inspire you. For more info on how we classify our lifestyle recipes please read our special diets fact sheet, or or for more information on how to plan your meals please see our special diets guidance.

Nutritional Information Amount per serving:

Calories

Calories are just a unit of energy. If you eat more than you use you can gain weight, or lose it if you don't eat enough. How much you need depends on your weight, gender and how active you are, but it's around 2,000 a day.

Carbs

Carbs are a great source of energy and, excluding foods such as potatoes, are made from grains - like bread, pasta and cereal. We all need carbs, but try to make them all wholegrain by sticking to brown bread, rice and pasta - they are much more nutritious.

Sugar

We all deserve a treat sometimes, but try to limit your sugar intake. Most of your sugar should come from raw fruit and milk, because they give us lots of nutrients too. Always check food labels so you know how much sugar you're eating.

Fat

We all need to eat a small amount of fat because it protects our organs and helps us grow. But we need to be careful about how much fat we eat and what kinds of fat, because in higher levels it's associated with weight gain, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Saturates

Saturated or "bad fats" are in beef, pork, chicken skin, butter, cream and cheese. Too much can be bad for our heart and cholesterol levels, but unsaturated or "good fats" in fish, nuts, avocados and some oils can help keep our hearts healthy if eaten in moderation.

Protein

Protein helps our muscles to grow and repair, as well as providing you with essential amino acids. When it comes to protein, try to eat leaner sources such as chicken and fish or non-meat sources such as eggs, dairy, beans, nuts, seeds, tofu and pulses.
  • Calories 153
  • Carbs 0.7g
  • Sugar 0.3g
  • Fat 14.4g
  • Saturates 2.9g
  • Protein 4.8g
Of an adult's reference intake

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BUYING SUSTAINABLY SOURCED FISH

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Buying sustainably sourced fish means buying fish that has been caught without endangering the levels of fish stocks and with the protection of the environment in mind. Wild fish caught in areas where stocks are plentiful are sustainably sourced, as are farmed fish that are reared on farms proven to cause no harm to surrounding seas and shores.

When buying either wild or farmed fish, ask whether it is sustainably sourced. If you're unable to obtain this information, don't be afraid to shop elsewhere – only by shopping sustainably can we be sure that the fantastic selection of fish we enjoy today will be around for future generations.

For further information about sustainably sourced fish, please refer to the useful links below:

Marine Stewardship Council
http://www.msc.org/

Fish Online
http://www.fishonline.org

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  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled

  • sea salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • a large bunch of fresh basil, leaves picked

  • 50 g pine nuts

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 50 g Parmesan, finely grated

  • Optional:

  • 1 cooked jersey royal or new potato