Pesto isn’t difficult to make and when you do it yourself, it is absolutely rewarding. The taste of the basil and the garlic is so much more intense than when you buy a little pot at a supermarket. On top of that, how nice is it to be able to say you made that delicacy yourself?
The result of your five minute, or longer if you take the long route, work is very versatile and can be used cold, bare as a dip or integrated in a more complex recipe, as a pesto pasta salad. Warm it is also delicious, for example as a pesto chicken pasta plate or pasta with salmon. Just to name some classics. You can make huge batches in jars or you can freeze your pesto to get some whenever you want!
Let’s dive into the cooking! As mentioned, you can make this in five minutes by adding all the ingredients to a food processor, you give it a few turns and there is your pesto ready to be served! In the video you’ll find here, I took a bit more time, as I like to use a mortar. For me, making pesto is a way to relax and grinding with the mortar just brings that extra “feel” to it.
As a child I remember making my first pesto with my younger brother and I was absolutely fascinated by it. I always wanted to become a witch and by using the mortar, that suddenly felt like a realistic possibility. That profession isn’t what I finally accomplished, but by using the mortar from time to time, I do get to bring that childhood dreamy and fascinated feeling back into the kitchen and my life.
Don’t wash your basil leaves unless you need to
Note: usually, you shouldn’t wash your basil leaves, as I do in the video, certainly not if you bought a plant in a supermarket or you grew the basil indoors. Unfortunately, I am obligated to do it, as I don’t trust the wildlife in my area and I don’t want to be infected with any pest.
Always be prepared
Before you start, get all your ingredients together and also make sure the bowls you’re working with are large enough to manage everything, when taking the long route. With a food processor it is all much easier and you don’t need to take into account the size of your mortar bowl.
You’ll see once you make the pesto, it is really easy to do and you’ll never want to buy prepared pesto anymore! Nothing beats the home made version. Also, don’t be afraid to experiment with the quantities and the ingredients. Many varieties are accepted. The kitchen is a place of free experiment and discovery, not a place of strict dictatorship.