Basil is an excellent source of vitamin K and manganese, and a very good source of vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), vitamin C and copper. It is also a good source of folic acid, calcium, iron, magnesium and omega-3.
Pesto is easy to prepare, so there is no need for store-bought ones!
The quantities in the recipe here make a small jar.
- 1 tablespoon of pine nuts
- 2 cups of basil leaves
- ½ small garlic clove, peeled and chopped
- ¼ cup of freshly grated parmesan
- ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil + a bit more to cover the pesto for storage
- Salt and black pepper
In a dry frying pan over medium heat, toast the pine nuts, shaking them often, for a few minutes until golden. Remove from the heat and let them cool.
In the food processor, add the basil leaves and garlic. Pulse a couple of times. Add the toasted pine nuts, and process until smooth.
Transfer to a mixing bowl. Stir in half of the parmesan and half of the olive oil, and mix well to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Stir in the rest of the parmesan and the rest of the olive oil. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
Transfer to a glass food container with a lid and cover the top of the pesto with some olive oil to ensure good conservation. Store covered in the fridge and eat within 2 weeks.