Handmade Pesto
Prep time
Total time
Serves: ¼ cup pesto
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 large bunch of basil, leaves only, washed and patted dry (about 1.5-2 ounces, or 2 lightly packed cups)
  • one small handful of raw pine nuts (about 2-3 tablespoons)
  • 1 loosely packed cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (if you are looking to use pre-grated Parmesan, you might as well just buy your pesto because there is no point in making it yourself if you are not using fresh ingredients)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  1. Peel and roughly mince all of your garlic. Starting with a small portion of your basil leaves, place one on top of the other, roll them up, and slice into thin strips (otherwise known as a chiffonade), then add it to the garlic and start to chop, incorporating the basil fully into the garlic. Grab some more leaves, chiffonade, and add them to the garlic and basil. Continue doing this until you run out of basil and the garlic and herbs are very well minced.
  2. Sprinkle your pine nuts over the garlic and basil. I used a bit more pine nuts, but that's because I love them and it was hard for me not to eat the whole container of them while I was working. Start to mince some more, incorporating the pine nuts into the garlic and basil. Pine nuts are soft, like cashews, so they will be easy to chop.
  3. When the pine nuts are incorporated, add in half of your Parmesan. Continue chopping, and when incorporated, add in the rest of the Parmesan and chop until everything is very, very, very finely minced. When you are done, you will be able to easily form the pesto into a "loaf" or a ball, as I did. After shaping the pesto, place it in a bowl or container and pour 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil over it. The pesto can stay like this, in an air tight container, until you are ready to use it, for up to 4 days. You can also use it in pasta, as a spread for sandwiches, or as a bruschetta topping. It is delicious on almost anything, and doing it by hand instead of using a food processor allows for lots of great textures and flavors from all of the fresh ingredients.
Recipe by The Crepes of Wrath at http://www.thecrepesofwrath.com/2011/03/03/handmade-pesto/