Pesto (Fresh Basil & Walnut Italian Sauce)


Pesto is fun to make. Traditionally pine nuts are used to make pesto but you can use nuts, herbs and cheese depending on your personal taste to make your own special and unique flavor to suit the dish you wish to prepare. Even the texture of the pesto is up to one’s choice.

Pesto means “pounded” and the traditional way to make it is by pounding/grinding it with a heavy mortar and pestle. Since this is laborious and time consuming, many prefer to use a grinder or a food processor. The pesto tastes better if made in the traditional way and if you have the energy and time, you should give it a try.

Pesto can be used in innumerable recipes; just give vent to your creativity and you will be not only be surprised but proud with your creation!

Try this recipe and you will realize how easy it is to make this delicious pesto in a jiffy! 😀

 Ingredients :

  • 200 gms. fresh Basil Leaves
  • 1/3 cup Walnuts (lightly dry roasted)
  • 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 5 cloves Garlic
  • 1/3 tsp. Black Pepper pwd.
  • Fresh juice of ½ Lime or Lemon
  • Salt to taste

Procedure :

Separate the fresh basil leaves from the stems.

Wash & drain thoroughly. Dab with a kitchen towel or use a salad spinner to remove excess moisture.

Grind all the above mentioned ingredients to a medium coarse paste. Do not add water to grind.

Taste to check and adjust seasoning.

Use the prepared pesto sauce in pasta, as a sandwich spread or dip.

Tips & Suggestions :

  1. Traditionally pine nuts are used to prepare pesto but you may use nuts, herbs and cheese of your choice.
  2. You can reduce or avoid using Parmesan Cheese in the pesto sauce. Instead, you can add it later while preparing the dish.
  3. If you are planning to store the pesto for a later date, make sure you top with enough olive oil to cover the pesto completely.
  4. Pesto sauce can be refrigerated for a week and stays well if stored in an air tight container preferably in a plastic boxes, glass bottle or mason jar.
  5. For a prolonged shelf life it is better to freeze the pesto. You may pour in jars or in ice tray cubes and freeze.

To Freeze Pesto: Pour the pesto sauce in ice trays, top with olive oil, cover with cling film and freeze. Once frozen, remove the cubes, store in a zip loc bag, label with date and the weight of each cube of pesto and re-freeze. Thaw the required cubes of pesto when ready to use.

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