Could you get me some basil, please? Antoine came back from the market with not just a few leaves but two huge plants of my favourite herb. There was only one thing for it; while it was so fragrant and fresh, I needed something that was quick to make: PESTO and pronto!
Only one problem: as I was finishing up stocks in the fridge before going on holiday, I had run out of fresh parmesan (and also the traditional pecorino) cheese. So, the cheese was simply replaced with more toasted nuts and the juice of a lime. Hey pesto, this could be adapted to add to all sorts of sauces at the last minute. It’s a great flavour enhancer to add to all kinds of dishes – even Thai rice noodles. Adapt it to your own taste, using cashews or walnuts instead of pine nuts; add a red or green chili for some heat; use coriander instead of basil…
What’s more, the sauce freezes well. As it’s oily, it won’t be a complete solid mass when frozen so you can use the amount needed without having to defrost a whole jar.
Basil and Lime Pesto
For 2 jam jars
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
2 basil plants, leaves only
2 garlic cloves, peeled and inside core removed
60g toasted pine nuts (or cashew)
1 untreated lime, zest and juice
140ml olive oil
Throw all the ingredients in a blender, adding the olive oil gradually while mixing. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.