basil pesto

Following the light of the sun, we left the Old World.  -Christopher Columbus

Pesto is a sauce of the Old World. It is also simplicity at its best. Its name comes from the method used to prepare it: by pounding using a mortar and pestle. Okay, so perhaps the use of a mortar and pestle does not exactly conjure up the notion of simplicity when we can use a blender instead. Which ever method you use, 4 ingredients later, you end up with Italy’s most prized sauce.classic basil pesto | conifères et feuillus
The classic basil pesto recipe calls for 4 main ingredients: basil leaves, pine nuts, olive oil and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. In my version, I leave out the cheese cause one kiddo does not like it. The rest of us add it later on. Without the cheese, it also becomes a great vegan alternative to the classic; it tastes just as great!classic basil pesto | conifères et feuillus
classic basil pesto | conifères et feuillus

A meal in an instant, pesto pasta.
classic basil pesto | conifères et feuillus

Freshly cut basil leaves waiting to be turned into something glorious.
classic basil pesto | conifères et feuillus

Classic Basil Pesto

(fills a 120 mL jar)

  • 120 g freshly cut basil leaves  (This is about 5 cups gently packed leaves.)
  • 1-2 garlic cloves (about 7 g total)
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (60 g) freshly and finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (or omit for vegan version)
  1. Combine all the ingredients except the cheese in a blender and blend to a purée. Mix in the cheese (not done in my photos above).
  2. When in contact with air, pesto will darken in colour but no worries, it will still taste the same. It keeps in the refrigerator for up to a week. Be sure to pour a little olive oil over the top surface.
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