One thing I hate about buying herbs from the supermarket, is when you only need a couple of leaves or stalks but the rest has to goto waste 😦 This makes for one sad Lolly. Especially when they are so expensive too!! So after making my vegetarian ratatouille, I had nearly a whole bunch of basil still left over.. But what to do with it ?? Ahhhhh haaaaaaaaaa! Pesto!! Man, I loveeeeeeeee pesto. It’s so versatile. What I love more than pesto though is, HOMEMADE PESTO 😀 So there I am, in my kitchen looking for ingredients: – pine nuts; check, basil; check, olive oil; check, salt & pepper; check, garlic; check, parmesan cheese… wait. No parmesan cheese.. Oh no!! Then it clicked. Why not substitute the parmesan cheese with fetta ?? Sold. Plus we have a unsually large tub of fetta, thanks to Bart when I sent him on a spree for some items for dinner – I ask him for a block of fetta, he comes home with a KILOGRAM tub of fetta cheese.. oh dear me.. 😛 Now, let’s get onto it. P.S taste test through each step, everyone likes their pesto a little different
– 1 clove of garlic
– 1 large bunch of basil
– 1 small handful of pine nuts, lightly toasted
– 1/2 a block of fetta cheese
– olive oil
– salt and pepper
1. Now, you can use your food processor for this, but I like using my mortar and pestle, it does take longer but I find it somewhat soothing. Place the garlic, basil and pine nuts in your food processor or your mortar and pestle and grind away until you reach a chunky but smoothish consistency.
2. Now add oil tablespoon by tablespoon, still crushing and mixing as you go until you have reached your desired consistency. Crumble in your fetta and keep smashing your pesto up!!!!!
3. Season well according to your taste.
– To let pesto have it’s maximum fridge life, sterilize a screw top jar, pour in pesto and pour a 1cm thick layer of oil on top. This will ensure that no bacteria start cultivating in or on the pesto. You can replace the pine nuts with almonds too! and for something different why not add some fresh chilli or lemon zest ??
I served mine with some garlic toasts…
– 1/2 a french baguette, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds on the diagonal
1. Drizzle some oil in a medium to hot frying pan.
2. Place the bread slices face down.
3. Let them sizzle away gently for about 1 minute, then place a weight (I used a saucepan) on top of the bread for another minute.
4. Check the bread for it’s ‘toastiness’.
5. Remove from the pan and rub the toasted side with garlic.
– then top with pesto or your favourite toppings.. I only toast one side because I like the texture of the crunchy toasty side and the soft, doughy bready side 🙂