Just a quickie before I publish my asparagus tart recipe :) I am a big fan of making my own pesto. Ever since Mum bought herself a wee bench top processor and started making her own I have followed suit. It is fresher and has more of a kick when you make it yourself.
I like making mine with roasted cashew nuts (because they are cheap haha) but you can experiment with any nut you like really (pine nuts and walnuts are apparently great).
Look for the leafiest, lushest basil plant at the supermarket and make sure it smells amazing, you want all the flavour you can get.
I reccommend having a wee processor to do this (you can get them at Kmart super cheap) but a mortar and pestle would also work well if you are willing to invest in the elbow grease.
You can alter the proportions to suit your taste. In all honesty mine changes each time, I just throw whatever in until I think it looks and tastes good!
Basil and Cashew Pesto
makes just under a cup
2-3 really tightly packed cups of fresh basil leaves (a good bushy plants worth)
50g roasted but unsalted cashews
3 cloves of garlic
1/3 cup grated parmesan
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
sometimes a squeeze of lemon
Blitz the garlic up first so that it is well minced. Next whizz up the cashews and then add the basil and parmesan. Blend until everything is a good even size (I like to keep mine quite chunky). While the processor is going, gradually pour in the olive oil. You may need to stop it half way to scrape down the sides. Season with salt and pepper to taste and give it a wee squeeze of lemon to lift it up a bit.
Serve on your favourite risotto, tossed through pasta, on toast, in a tart, you name it :) Store in a jar and pour a bit more olive oil over the top to seal out the air - this will keep it from going brown!