Pesto is a great way to preserve herbs and add flavour to cooking in an easily accessible form. And of course to use some of those small left over garlic cloves from planting your garlic (you did do it didn’t you?) This recipe is very forgiving of quantities and it’s fine if you leave out the cheese for those of a dairy intolerant or vegan persuasion. Might need some extra salt to compensate.
I make a range of pestos and usually have a pottle in the fridge. They can oxidise on the surface so if you want to keep them brilliant green, add a thin layer of extra oil after each use. Try toasting the nuts in the oven if you have the inclination as it enhances the flavour. I freeze any extra pesto in pottles although they keep well in the fridge thanks to the oil content.
- Bunch of herbs roughly chopped (basil, coriander, parsley or rocket work well), tough stalks removed about 100g
- Two or three large cloves of garlic or a clove of elephant garlic, peeled
- 90g best quality New Zealand olive, avocado or walnut oil
- 50g tasty cheese or substitute a couple of tablespoons of nutritional yeast for a vegan version
- 50g nuts (walnuts, cashews, pine nuts or hazelnuts)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Zest and juice of a lemon or lime
- Place the ingredients in a mini blender or liquidiser and blend until smooth.
- Scrape down the sides at least once to ensure everything is combined.
- Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Add a little more oil to get the consistency you prefer.
- Divide into small jars or pottles and store in the fridge or freezer.