I recently purchased a brand new food processor, and the first thing I wanted to make was fresh pesto. It is one of the easiest things ever to make and only takes a few minutes to whizz up enough to last a week. If you're vegetarian it can be extremely hard to buy veggie pesto as it normally includes parmesan which is impossible to make without animal rennet*. So my version omits the parmesan and is perfectly fine without. I wasn't sure what cheese to replace parmesan with but if you are having it with pasta just sprinkle some cheddar on top and it tastes lovely.
Time taken: 10mins
50g pine nuts (this uses about half a standard pack)
150ml olive oil (note this does seem a lot but you need to add a small portion at the end if you're storing it in the fridge for a while)
a large bunch of fresh basil leaves
2 garlic cloves
1. You can either toast the pine nuts by frying them for a few minutes (note, they burn easily so keep an eye on them!) but you can also add them fresh if you prefer.
2. Pour all the ingredients into a food processor and whizz until smooth. Store in a jar or pastic container. The pesto will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Recipe ideas: as well as with pasta I added the pesto to some tasty baguettes with halloumi and salad which was great. Next time I want to try adding sundried tomatoes, yum. Any other ideas for pesto flavours to try?
(*animal rennet comes from the stomach of a baby cow.. eep!)