A pesto is a sauce or dip of crushed ingredients. Traditionally, a mortar and pestle is used to pound and crush the ingredients together to form a smooth paste. The most commonly known pesto is the Genoese Pesto originating from Genoa, Italy, which is made with fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmigiana Reggiano and olive oil. This is the flavour profile we will be using in our recipe. Pine nuts can sometimes be hard to find and are very expensive, therefore can be replaced with other nuts such as cashews, walnuts or pumpkin seeds. Check your pantry and use what you have. If you are growing basil, you can use this fragrant herb fresh from your garden. Before getting started, ask an adult to set up the food processor and help you to use it.
Yield: 4 servings
Preparation Time: About 10 minutes
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 cups (or 2 good handfuls) loosely packed fresh basil leaves
- 4 Tbsp. pine nuts (or another nut)
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. freshly cracked pepper
- small sharp knife
- cutting board
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- liquid measuring cup
- food processor, or blender
- rubber spatula
- 2 small bowls
- Have an adult put a food processor on the counter with the cutting blade in place and plug it in.
- Grate the Parmesan cheese and put into a small bowl.
- Measure the olive oil.
- Pick the basil leaves from the stems. Measure and put the basil leaves in the bowl of the food processor. Compost the basil stems.
- Peel the garlic and add to the basil.
- Measure the pine nuts and add to the food processor bowl.
- Snap the lid on the food processor. Turn it on and chop until the ingredients are combined. Stop the food processor.
- Get the measured olive oil. Turn on the food processor and add the oil through the feed tube in a thin steady stream. Process until a smooth paste.
- Add the Parmesan cheese, the salt and pepper and process just until blended. Stop and unplug the food processor.
- Have an adult help you scrape the pesto out of the food processor bowl and put it in a small bowl. Be very careful of the blade. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap pressed onto the pesto.
- If you are using the pesto right away, leave the pesto out at room temperature. If you are keeping the pesto for later use, place in the fridge for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before adding to pasta. This sauce is not to be cooked.
- Pesto tastes great on many things. Try it in a sandwich, on a baked potato, on pizza or on grilled fish. Experiment!
STEP-BY-STEP – BASIL PESTO!
Have an adult help you scrape the pesto out of the food processor into a small bowl. Mix in the cheese, salt and pepper. If you are using the pesto right away, leave the pesto out at room temperature. If you are keeping the pesto for later use, place in the fridge for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before adding to pasta.This sauce is not to be cooked.
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