Basil pesto

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August 29, 2012 by twodogjam

Great to always have in the fridge ready for a quick meal or to jazz up other dishes. A Jamie Oliver recipe (Jamie’s dinners) that is hard to beat.


  • ½ clove of garlic, chopped
  • 3 good handfuls of fresh basil, leaves picked, washed and chopped roughly. Our grocer sells basil in bunches of 6-8 small stems which is the perfect quantity for this recipe
  • a handful of pine nuts, lightly roasted for about 6 mins at 150ºC. Watch them carefully: if over toasted the pesto will have a nuttier flavour
  • a handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Using a small food processor, pulse the garlic and basil leaves until roughly chopped. Add the pine nuts and pulse again so well mixed. Turn out into a bowl and add about half of the Parmesan cheese. Stir gently and add the olive oil so that the sauce starts to bind together.

Season with salt and pepper to taste and add more of the cheese. Mix in some more olive oil and taste again. Keep adding small amounts of oil and the remaining cheese until you are happy with the taste and consistency. Jamie suggests adding a squeeze of lemon juice for extra ‘twang’ but not essential and more personal preference. We leave it out.

Basil pestoWhen finished, store pesto in a small glass jar and keep in the fridge. Try to flatten out the top of the pesto and add a layer of olive oil to stop the pesto from discolouring when it comes into contact with air.

Great to add a spoonful to pasta, scrambled egg, spread on toast for light snack or what ever you fancy!


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