150g Basil leaves, 1/2 lemon, 75g pine nuts, 1 tsp paprika, parmigiano, olive oil
Serves: 2 Preparation: 15 minutes
There is nothing like a good pesto. With just a mortar and pestle and 10 minutes of elbow grease you can achieve any number of fabulous, vibrant flavour coatings for pasta, salad, bread or even to jazz up meat and vegetables. It's quick, cheap and there is absolutely no excuse for buying some sad, faded mush in a jar instead of making your own. Over the last (almost) 2 years I have brought you both the perfect classic pesto (Basil and Pine Nut) and also pestos made with: Mint and Walnut, Basil and Pistachio, Olive, Peashoot and Pine Nut, Sage and Pistachio and finally Pistou - which is a French variant made with Basil and Almond that is AMAZING in soup.
Most nuts and most herbs or even salad leaves such as rocket, will make a good pesto - experiment with using lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit, with different oils and you'll be amazed at the results. My latest triumph, this smoked paprika pesto in particular has a wonderful, earthy flavour.
1) Add a good handful of fresh basil leaves to a mortar bowl and grind to a fine pulp.
2) Add a pinch of coarse sea salt, the paprika and handful of pine nuts and grind thoroughly.
3) Add a squeeze of lemon juice, the olive oil and grated parmeggian to taste.
I served my pesto with fresh linguine