Never have there been truer words spoken than “fresh is best” when if comes to basil pesto, and it doesn’t come much fresher than the beautiful basil from Thirlstane Gardens at this time of the year.
This simple recipe is perfect for a share platter with crackers, to add a hit of flavour to a sandwich, or as a simple meal when stirred through pasta.
Another great thing about this recipe is that if you’re not a huge pesto eater, you can freeze a portion of the recipe for 2 or 3 months by simply placing the portion you wish to freeze in a jar and covering with a layer of olive oil prior to freezing.
- At least 1 large bunch (1.5 – 2 cups) of fresh Thirlstane Gardens Basil, leaves only
- 65g pine nuts (about 0.5 cup, maybe a little more)
- 60g parmesan cheese (about 3/4 cup of grated or shaved)
- 2-3 cloves of garlic (Tasmanian Natural Garlic and Tomatoes)
- 60mls (about 4 tablespoons) of extra virgin olive oil (Lentara Grove, Village Olive Grove, Coronea Grove)
- the juice of half a lemon
- salt and pepper to taste, optional (A pinch of…)
- Toast off the pine nuts either in a frypan or spread over a baking tray and in the oven for 5-10 minutes until they turn golden. Set aside to cool.
- Once the pine nuts have cooled, place the pine nuts, basil leaves, garlic and seasoning in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely chopped. You may need to scrape down the sides and repeat this process to achieve the finely chopped consistency.
- Once you are happy with the consistency, add the lemon juice.
- Now with the motor running, gradually add the extra virgin olive oil until a smooth, creamy consistency is achieved.
- All that’s left to do is pop it in a jar and enjoy!