How to make pesto

In each edition of Flow, we feature an illustrated ‘How To’, like how to make vegetable soup, for example. Or how to grow plants from cuttings. In issue 18, illustrator Kate Pugsley made one explaining how to make your own pesto.

Needed (for about 1 jar):

* one basil plant
*30 g (1 oz) Parmesan cheese
*20 g (3/4 oz) pecorino
*20 g (3/4 oz) pine nuts
*1 clove of garlic
*a pinch of sea salt
*30 mg (1 oz) quality extra virgin olive oil
*5 ml (1 tbsp) lemon juice
*a mortar and pestle, skillet, dish, grater, paper towels and a (screw top) jar

  1. Grate the cheeses as finely as possible and place in a dish. Toast the pine nuts in the skillet until golden brown, stirring frequently. Leave to cool on paper towels. Wipe the basil leaves clean with a paper towel.
  2. Crush the peeled garlic with salt in the mortar into a fine paste.
  3. Add the basil leaves and grind down to a green juice.
  4. Add the pine nuts and grind to a puree; then little by little add the grated cheese. Keep grinding until you get a smooth puree.
  5. Add small amounts of olive oil until you reach the desired thickness. Season with lemon juice.
  6. Store the pesto with a topping of olive oil in a sealed jar in the refrigerator. It will stay good for a number of weeks.

Tip: To mix things up, swap the pine nuts for other small nuts, such as pistachios.

  • In our other issues you can find more how to’s.

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