Did you know that ‘pesto’ originates from the Italian word ‘peste,’ meaning ‘ to pound.’ Just the very thought of it conjures up images of nonnas in the Italian countryside pounding fresh herbs, pine nuts and parmesan with a wooden pestle in a marbled mortar!
The beauty of pesto is that it’s a forgiving recipe, open to adaptation using different herbs beyond basil, a variety of nuts and add-ins. And if you don’t have a mortar-and-pestle on hand, a food processor, high speed blender or trusty Nutribullet, work just as well for blitzing the ingredients into a vivacious sauce to drape your next pasta with, or to be had simply as a dip for dunking crusty bread or focaccia in.
I use cashews – rather than pine nuts – for a creamier texture; and throw in a handful of fresh parsley (with the stalks) to give it a more vibrant green finish with a fragrant hit. I also add just a little bit of oregano for a mild peppery punch. Everyone has their go-to recipe for a good pesto. This is mine.
The Perfect Pesto
- ½ cup cashews
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- ½ cup fresh parsley
- ½ cup grated parmesan
- ½ cup olive oil + more as required
- 3 small garlic cloves
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- ½ tsp sea salt
- a few grinds of black pepper
- Toast the cashews in a dry skillet on medium heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring continuously. Remove and allow them to cool before adding to the food processor/ blender. Add the garlic and parmesan, blitzing everything together.
- Next add the basil and parsley and blitz again, before streaming in the olive oil until the pesto comes together in a paste with your desired consistency. You can add a bit more olive oil if you prefer a looser texture.
- Add the lime juice, salt and pepper at the end to season. Store refrigerated in a sealed jar.
You May Also Like To Browse…
We’d love to hear from you! Do let us know if you try this recipe – you can leave a comment below and/ or tag us in your delicious creations on Instagram @the_foodiediaries.
Latest Instagram Posts
Browse More Recipes
Get the latest reviews, recipes & recommendations, delivered straight to your inbox:
Hi.. I made the pesto using your recipe it’s yum but more like a paste. How do I thin it down?
Hello! Add some more olive oil 🙂
Hi, the quantities you’ve mentioned should be good for how many people
Hi! It makes a jar of pesto – depending on your serving size, it can be used a couple of times. It stores in the fridge for up to a week; and in the freezer for longer
Was yum! Tried using cashews after seeing this recipe instead of pine nuts, turned out creamier and yummier.
So delighted to hear your feedback, thank you for sharing!
Hi. Which Parmesan and mozzarella cheese would you recommend?