How to ... make homemade fresh basil pesto

You will need a large pestle and mortar or a blending stick / food processor.

Ingredients can be varied to taste, but classic basil pesto is made with garlic, pine nuts, parmesan, extra virgin olive oil and fresh basil.

Firstly, crush a clove of garlic with a pinch of salt and then add a really large handful of fresh basil leaves (the big, fat-leaved Genovese type is best) with some pine nuts (40-50g).

Continue grinding and crushing until a coarse mixture is achieved, then begin to add extra virgin olive oil, approximately 3 tablespoons, pummelling away until the mixture is smooth.

Now mix in some grated parmesan, a similar quantity to the pine nuts, a scrunch of black pepper and taste before adjusting salt if necessary. 

Fresh pesto will keep in a refrigerator for up to a week, but we usually use it in just one, maybe two sittings, it is so easy to make that making a fresh batch doesn’t take long. Toss in pasta, new potatoes, drop into fresh soup, drizzle over salad, spread on bread and layer in roasted veggies for the ultimate toasted sandwich or toast with chopped tomatoes for delicious crostini.