Basil Pesto is a basil leaves based pesto or as we say in India a basil leave chutney. It is made with fresh basil leaves with Parmesan cheese, pine nuts and extra virgin olive oil. A fresh and amazing compliment with your favorite pastas, breads and salads. It also goes very well as a marinade for grilled fish and chicken
Basil Pesto can be made very easily with Indian ingredients too. You can substitute Parmesan Cheese with Fresh Paneer (Cottage Cheese) and pine nuts with cashew nuts or walnuts. The flavor may not be as authentic with the substitute ingredients but trust me they taste equally good.
For storing the Basil pesto add 2 -3 tbsp extra olive oil to the recipe. It can then be stored in an air tight container in a refrigerator for almost 2 months. Also remember when the pesto is cooked it might turn a bit rancid so always add the pesto at the end of your cooking.
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 2 tbsp olive oil (extra virgin preferable)
- 3 large garlic cloves ( approx. 2 tsp)
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup pine nuts (if not available you can either use walnuts or cashew nuts)
- salt to taste
- 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
There are 2 ways to prepare pesto:
- Food processor/ grinder
- Put together except the basil leaves all the ingredients into food processor and grind
- Then add the basil leaves and again grind together for a few seconds (the basil leaves get rancid if ground too much)
- Mortar-Pestle(This gives the best result)
- Fine grind the nuts, garlic with the olive oil. Then add the pepper powder, Parmesan and basil leaves.
Make into a smooth paste and use with your favorite pastas and bread.