How to make pesto from scratch

Since lockdown began in March more Britons than ever are spending their time at home indulging in cooking. This easy sauce can be added to many different meals and can be whizzed up in just 15 minutes. has compiled recipes to show you how you can make pesto from your home.

How to make pesto


  • One clove of peeled garlic
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • One large bunch of fresh basil, leaves picked
  • 50g pine nutes
  • Three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 50g finely grated parmesan


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Begin creating the pesto by peeling and crushing the garlic using a pestle and mortar along with a pinch of sea salt.

Cook the pine nuts until they are golden brown and set aside to cool.

Pick the basil leaves and add with the pine nuts, pounding until t creates a coarse paste.

Next, you should add the extra virgin olive oil and grated parmesan.

If the consistency is not runny enough for your liking, you can add a splash of water to the mixture and continue bashing and pounding the mixture until it is smooth.

Taste the mixture and season it with salt and pepper to your taste.

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If you do not have a pestle and mortar, you can make a pesto quickly and efficiently using a food processor.

All you need to do is combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor.

With the motor running you should add the olive oil slowly until the mixture has emulsified.

Homemade pesto can be stored for up to a one week in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

What alternatives can you use instead of basil?

There are several alternatives you can make to create pesto instead of basil including:

  • Wild garlic
  • Watercress
  • Kale
  • Rocket
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Red pepper
  • Avocado
  • Pea
  • Chives
  • Parsley
  • Broad bean.

Instead of pine nuts you can also use:

  • Pistachio
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Cashews
  • Hazlenut.

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