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Homemade pesto recipe image

Print Homemade pesto

If your basil's fresh enough, your homemade pesto will far more vibrant than the shop-bought kind. Pour a little oil over the top of your jar, store it in the fridge, and you can keep summer's taste saved up for months. You can make it in two ways: in a pestle and mortar, which is satisfying but arduous, or in a food processor. Toss with pasta, marinade meat and veg, spread on sandwiches...


  • 100g pine nuts, toasted in a dry frying pan until golden
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, depending on size, finely chopped
  • 200g fresh basil leaves
  • 250ml olive oil, plus an extra 50ml or so, depending on how thick you want the pesto
  • 100g Parmesan, finely grated
  • Lemon juice, to taste
  • Salt & pepper


  1. To make in a pestle and mortar: Grind the pine nuts and garlic with a good pinch of salt. Add the basil and 2 tablespoons of olive oil and pound to break up the basil leaves. Gradually add a little more oil, a little at a time. Add the Parmesan, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Check the consistency and add a little more oil to loosen the pesto if you like.
  2. To make in a food processor: Blitz the pine nuts with the basil and Parmesan, gradually adding the oil to make a paste. Squeeze in lemon juice and season to taste.
  3. Keep in the fridge, making sure the leaves are covered with a layer of olive oil or they will blacken. Or freeze in small tubs or bags.
want to cook with fresh ingredients? try one of our award winning veg boxes