4 Easy Ways with Homemade Pesto January 25, 2017
Did you know pesto literally means “to crush”? With such an open definition, it would be remiss of us not to put some dizzyingly delicious spins on the classic combination.
Purists will tell you that a pesto should contain naught but basil, Parmesan, olive oil, garlic and a little salt. But purists are terribly, terribly boring and if we always deferred to them we wouldn’t have tomatoes in Italian cooking (brought from Middle Eastern merchants), sushi (originally invented using Chinese methods of using rice to preserve fish) or butter chicken (an invention of South Asian immigrants in Britain).
When you start to consider this, you realise inventive twists on classic recipes really are the spice of life.
Creamy Crème Fraîche Pesto
20g Parmesan cheese | 1 bunch basil, chopped |
25g pine nuts | 50ml crème fraîche
1. Chop up two-thirds of the basil and the pine nuts as finely as possible.
Tip: Everything should be smaller than a grain of rice for the perfect texture.
2. Add your basil and pine nuts with the crème fraîche in a blender and combine, but not for too long – it shouldn’t be a paste!
3. Stir in your grated Parmesan.
4. Season with a pinch of salt.
Roasted Red Pepper Pesto
We’ve nicked this recipe from our British friends, so excuse the parlance of ‘peppers’, or capsicum as you probably know them.
100g roasted red peppers, from jar in olive oil | 30g cashew nuts, roughly
chopped | 1 lemon | olive oil | a pinch of dried red chilli |Parmesan cheese
1. Add red peppers and a good dash of olive oil along with salt into food processor and blend (NOT until smooth, shouldn’t be too smooth).
2. Chop cashew nuts roughly and add them in and blend – the mixture should not be a paste but a nice chunky pesto. Add more olive oil
if too chunky.
3. Squeeze in lemon and sprinkle in red chilli flakes
4. Grate in some Parmesan and stir by hand.
Baked Brazil Nut Pesto
25g Brazil nuts | 40g basil, chopped |
40g rocket, chopped | 50g Parmesan cheese
1. Roughly chop the Brazil nuts and finely chop the basil (stalks and leaves!).
2. Finely chop a quarter of the rocket.
3. Pop your Brazil nuts, basil, rocket and hard Italian cheese into a
blender with the olive oil (and blend until it begins to combine but not
until it’s a paste).
4. Grind in some black pepper and mix it together.
Mexican Coriander Pesto
2 fresh green chillies, sliced (medium hot) | 40g fresh coriander |
40g roughly chopped walnuts, handful | 1 heaped tsp honey |
olive oil |Parmesan cheese
1. Add chillies, coriander and olive oil into blender until it starts to get a bit smooth, but not quite a paste.
2. Add the walnuts and salt – and blend with some more olive oil.
3. Add honey and blend a bit more.
4. Grate in the Parmesan and stir in by hand.