2cupsfresh Italian basil leavespacked, rinsed and dried
½teaspoonsaltor to taste
¼teaspoonfreshly cracked black pepper
¼cupfreshly grated parmesan cheese
1teaspoonfreshly squeezed lemon juice
¼cupextra virgin olive oildivided, plus more if needed
Add basil leaves, walnuts, garlic, salt, black pepper, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoon olive oil to the jar of a food processor.
Blend until a finely chopped mixture forms.
While the food processor is running, begin drizzling the remaining olive oil until a slightly coarse sauce is formed. Add additional olive oil if needed for desired consistency.
Scrape the sides of the jar a few times while blending.
Taste test for salt and add more if required.
Pesto is ready to use immediately, otherwise, store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. You may want to cover with a thin layer of olive oil or plastic wrap to prevent oxidation.
Make sure the walnuts are not bitter before using them in the recipe. Walnuts are prone to turning bitter if stored for a long time.Never make pesto in a blender or a mixie. It will become paste-like. The correct texture of the pesto is slightly coarse. Toast the walnuts lightly and use roasted garlic for a more complex flavor.Add some red pepper flakes or chopped jalapeno pepper or any other chilies to make a spicy version of pesto.