Pesto is one of the most straightforward recipes when you have the ingredients readily available on your shelf and in the refrigerator. I like to have a jar of homemade pesto to make pesto paneer tikka, low carb zucchini spiral pasta, and a few fusion as well as traditional recipes for busy weekday dinners. Pesto spread onto hot vegetables, rice, and pasta transforms good recipe into a fabulous delicacy.
- One cup basil leaves, tightly packed.
- Three small cloves of garlic.
- 1/4th tsp black pepper.
(You can adjust as per your taste.)
- 1/3rd cup grated parmesan cheese.
- 1/3rd cup olive oil.
- 4 tbsp pine nuts.
- Salt as per your taste.
(Note: Parmesan cheese has sodium content. If you’re watching your sodium, adjust accordingly.)
- One green chili (Optional.)
(I use green chili occasionally for specific fusion recipes using pesto.)
- Combine basil, parmesan cheese, garlic cloves, and pine nuts in the bowl of a food processor or in a blender’s jar. If you’re using high power blender like Vitamix, use the pulse mode to make pesto.
- Next, season the mixture with salt and ground black pepper.
- An optional step, add chopped green chili. I add chili for a few fusion recipes, especially for my signature recipe, pesto paneer tikka salad.
- If using a food processor, with the motor running, add olive oil in a slow stream until emulsified. In the case of a blender, grind on pulse mode, add olive oil when the mixture is coarsely ground, and pulse again until emulsified.
- Transfer the pesto sauce in an airtight container. Store it in the refrigerator.
Walnuts cost half as much as pine nuts. Walnuts are crunchy and have a wax-like structure like pine nuts, so some people also use walnuts instead of pine nuts. I prefer pine nuts for the flavor it imparts in pesto.