Classic Pesto and some Classy Variations – How to make the Perfect Pesto.
The word pesto literally means pounded. So although there’s a common belief that pesto should be made with basil, there are plenty of rather delicious alternatives around. Classic Genoese pesto is, of course, made with basil, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil and cheese – but the pesto recipe is so carefully protected that you need to use the right basil, Italian pine nuts, Ligurian olive oil, garlic from a specific village near Genoa and Pecorino Sardo if you want to compete in the World Pesto Championships.
Heaven forbid you make your pesto in a blender. Genoese Pesto prepared using a marble mortar and wooden pestle is a gastronomic peculiarity of Liguria. When I visited, I learnt that it is regarded as an essential part of food culture there – making pesto is a part of life. And, that led to the creation of the Genoa Pesto World Championship in 2007 by the Palatifini Cultural Association, intended to help training new generations and safeguard the regional culinary heritage. Now, there’s an application for Genoese Pesto prepared using a marble mortar and wooden pestle at the Italian National Commission for UNESCO as a best practice of humanity’s intangible cultural heritage. Supported by the Liguria Region, the Chamber of Commerce of Genoa and Unioncamere Liguria, the Municipality of Genoa, the University and countless other Ligurian Municipalities, cultural and business associations, it will be interesting to see what happens!
For the rest of us, pesto is one of those recipes that we learn to make to our own taste. I particularly like my own Nut-Free Pesto or Pistou which is lighter and works well as a dressing for fish. But, I’m intrigued by the idea of a Wild Garlic Pesto too – and I really do like the idea of the pistachio pesto that originates in Sicily.
Nut Free Pesto - Home Made Pesto in Minutes
If you have a nut allergy, then making a nut-free pesto is a simple solution. All you need is basil, garlic, olive oil and cheese - and a bit of patiences. Here's my recipe for nut-free pesto or pistou
Perfect Classic Ligurian Pesto
The classic pesto comes from Liguria and I went along to the world pesto championships to see how it is made. As you can see, it's child's play to make your own pesto from scratch
Matcha Pesto for Pasta
A pesto with Matcha? Yes please. This one is a delightful fusion of matcha, mint and some traditional pesto ingredients to make a healthy pesto that is quite delicious.
Autumnal Feasting New Covent Garden Market - Cobnut Pesto Recipe
The pine nuts which go into a classic pesto don't originate from England, so I made a seasonal cobnut pesto with wonderful English cobnuts and some seasonal leaves.
Kale and Almond Pesto
A delicious and healthy pesto to make all the year round - Kale and Almond pesto.
Basil And Pumpkin Seed Pesto
Delicious and tangy pesto with pumpkin seed to replace the pine nuts -
Fat Hen and Chickweed Pesto - Tin and Thyme
A pesto based on foraged ingredients that you'd otherwise treat as weeds. Tin and Thyme has created this luscious hedgerow pesto you can make throughout the summer (and do your weeding at the same time).
Nasturtium Pesto - The Botanical Kitchen
If you already use nasturtium leaves in your salads you know that they have a lovely nutty taste. Here they are used to make a simple pesto that shouts summertime
Spring Roast of Scotch Beef with a Wild Garlic Pesto Crust
Learn about foraging wild garlic for pesto - then use it to make this delicious spring roast of Scotch beef.
Pasta with pistachio pesto
Pistachio pesto is a recipe from Sicily that is popular throughout Italy. Find out more and make your own with this delicious recipe from The Pasta Project.
Do you have a favourite Pesto? Let me know!