It’s considered to be an Italian treasure, the marvel of taste and goodness.
The best pesto one can come across is believed to be from a place called Liguria in Northwest Italy. It has earned its title because of the microclimate it grows in. The hills of the Apennine Mountains provide the rich ground and plenty of sun for the jewel of basil, Genovese basil. Combined with Ligurian extra virgin olive oil and pine nuts from Stone Pines, the king of pesto is born. And did you know that the up-and-coming dock city of Genova (where the famous basil is from) was home to none other than Christopher Columbus??
Although my basil doesn’t descend from any spectacular places, it comes from my balcony where I have grown it with all my love…and only just about three weeks of sun (we got very lucky this year, right 😉 ). Sun is very important for basil and any other herb, it’s where they get all the flavour from! Nevertheless, the smell from my basil was very powerful and invigorating anyway.
Originally homemade pesto used to be crushed in a ceramic mortar and wooden pestle, some say that’s why it’s called pesto (mortaio e pestello). If you have a bit of time on your hands, you can try it yourself. I didn’t have time to crush the massive amount of basil I’d gathered. Just picking the basil took me around 15 minutes, I had so many leaves 🙂
To make your own pesto, it couldn’t be easier. There are plenty of pesto recipes on the internet, different variation of pesto, all depending on the preference of the cook. I’ve decided to go for the simple kind. I will tell you what I’ve used but it’s totally up to you what amount you prefer to use. I had two other “helpers=tasters” in the house and that’s why I’ve created two types. When I was making a jar for myself I added more pine nuts, but for the boys in the house I added two chillies to spice it up a little.
My Pesto Recipe:
- basil leaves
- 200g pine nuts
- 100g thinly grated parmesan
- 6 crushed cloves of garlic
- 2 chillies
- 200ml of Extra Virgin Olive oil
Some recipes say to roast the pine nuts in olive oil and some recipes say there is no need for it. I haven’t used olive oil but I was thinking maybe it would bring the flavour more out. I will have to try it next time. When pine nuts are cooled down, just mix about half of each ingredient together: basil leaves, olive oil, crushed garlic, parmesan and if you want chillies. Put it to a food processor and mix away until its very fine. Test the flavour and add the rest of ingredients depending on your taste buds 🙂
- Wait for pine nuts to cool or they can bruise your basil leaves
- It’s very easy to crush the garlic with a big wooden spoon
- Do not use all the ingredients together. Add them little by little and taste it before just to make sure it tastes like you like it x !!
- Add salt and pepper gradually to make sure the taste is not overpowering.
- THE MAIN THING: ENJOY!
|Left hand side is with more pine nuts, that’s why the light colour; Right hand side is made with chillies 🙂|