Last weekend I spent some time at my parents’ garden. This year they got really lucky! The summer has reached Germany as well and the vegetables and herbs are very thankful for the extra sunrays. Rather than just freezing all that basil this time we decided to make pesto! Well, I must admit that “pesto alla genovese” (pesto Genoa style) already reveals where the origins of this delicious recipe are from. It’s far north, rather than the deep south where my family comes from. So I assume that not being a typical southern Italian recipe, I never really got introduced to it back home. I discovered it later on, and I’m glad I did!
No matter how much I try to make things from scratch, pesto is one of those things where the temptation wins. Hence, there I go buying a glass of already made pesto. I have tried several ones of different brands, and most of the time I end up disappointed, simply because it doesn’t have the consistency that I prefer. I like it best when it’s a little crunchy, when I can taste and bite on the pine nuts and the parmesan. Most of the ones that come in a glass are very creamy. Nothing wrong with that at all! It’s just a matter of taste. One more reason why I should make it myself at home from now on, so I can decide how creamy I want it to be.
50g / 1¾oz of basil
50g / 1¾oz of pecorino romano cheese
50g / 1¾oz of parmesan cheese
20g of pine nuts
2 garlic cloves
100ml / 3½fl oz of extra virgin olive oil
a pinch of (coarse) salt
* * * * *
You can either use a blender or make it the traditional way with a mortar and pestle. Combine the garlic and the basil (in the mortar it will be easier mixing everything by adding a little coarse salt). Then add the pine nuts. Once well-mashed or blended add the grated cheese with the olive oil. Shouldn’t you have any pecorino cheese, replace the amount with parmesan cheese. Continue mixing it well until the pesto becomes smooth and creamy.
A little advice on how to store the pesto: If you are planning to eat it within 2 to 3 days, you can store it in a jar by putting it in the fridge. If you are preparing bigger quantities of pesto, then the best way is to freeze it. I used an ice cube tray, which comes very handy as it divides it into little quantities, ready to be used. Mine was too little to fit all the pesto, so I used little plastic cups as well. As I had only a little ice cube tray available and little space in the freezer, I left them in there only over night and the very next day I put the little portions in a tupperware container.
Enjoy it either with pasta or on a homemade pizza. It goes also well with a grilled sandwich combined with other delicious and fresh Mediterranean ingredients!
Prep Time: 20min