Put all the ingredients, except the cheese and seasoning, in a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into a bowl and stir in the grated cheese and season to taste with the salt and pepper.

Keep basil pesto refrigerated for up to a week.

Pesto also freezes very well and thaws quickly.

The traditional way of making pesto was to pound the ingredients in a pestle and mortar – the name is from the Italian word pestare (to pound or crush), but it is much easier to make in a food processer or blender.’’



2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed

1/2 cup freshly grated

Parmesan, Reggianoor or Romano cheese

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts

3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste