This recipe is for traditional style basil pesto. You can try this recipe with other fresh herbs such as cilantro, parsley or even mint.
You can make pesto in food processor to get it really smooth, or if you don't have a food processor, do it as it as traditionally done-with a mortar and pestle.
2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves, rinsed and dried
3 tbsp pine nuts, toasted if desired
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/4 tsp salt
1/4-1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan, freshly grated
Using a food processor
Buzz all the ingredients at once except the olive oil. Drizzle it in last.
Using a mortar and pestle
Crush the garlic.
Add the pine nuts and mash. Add salt and basil leaves and blend into a paste.
Mix in the Parmesan bit by bit. Add the oil in a trickle (as if making mayonnaise) until you have a smooth, thickened paste. (You can use less olive oil to make it thicker; or a little extra to make it thinner.)
Store the pesto in a small container in the fridge and cover the top surface with a thin layer of extra virgin olive oil. It will keep for a couple weeks.
It also freezes well if you want to make a big batch. Don't add the cheese if freezing; tou can mix it in when thawed. For individual portions, freeze in an ice cube tray.