Pesto purists please look away now. Or maybe don’t, because this is seriously tasty.
I needed to take action on my basil plant – which is starting to look more like a basil hedge. I took to that thing with scissors and removed a ton of leaves, then walked back into the conservatory 5 minutes later and they’d all grown back!
Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating slightly, but this thing is getting out of control. My conservatory smells like a pesto factory and I think my monster Hydra basil will have blocked out all light by the end of the week.
So we’re having pesto recipes for the next month. Or maybe year.
Unfortunately, for my first batch, I didn’t have any pine nuts or Pecorino in. Always up for a challenge I went ahead and made it anyway – using walnuts instead of pinenuts, cheddar (yes, shock horror cheddar) instead of Pecorino, and also throwing in a green chilli for a bit of fun.
Can I just say Whoa!
Best Pesto ever!
Added to pasta with some leftover roast chicken? Oh yes. I put away far too much.
I dished out a ‘proper’ portion, managed to eat it all, and then with sheer determination, heaved myself over to the pan and picked at the bits left in there.
Give it a go and let me know what you think.
Are there any other good variations you may know of?
Chilli and Walnut Pesto (Makes 4 servings/ 1 cup):
- 2 cups of basil (packed)
- 2 gloves of garlic, peeled
- 1/2 cup of walnuts
- 1 green chilli, chopped (seeds removed first if you don’t like it too hot)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup grated mature cheddar cheese
- In a food processor, add your basil, garlic, walnuts, chilli and olive oil. Give everything a whizz for a few seconds, then add in the cheddar. Whizz again for a few seconds – just until everything is combined, but there’s still some texture to it.
- Err that’s it. Eat with everything?
Tip If you want to freeze this pesto, then leave out the cheese and just put in half the olive oil. Place into a container and cover with the other half of olive oil. Then cover in clingfilm or foil and freeze for up to 3 months. You can then defrost and stir in the olive oil topping and some finely grated cheddar before serving. You can also store it like this in the fridge, where it will keep for about a week.