Pesto is really versatile. I like how you can alternate between different kinds of herbs and nuts and achieve exciting variations in taste and colour.
I recently tried my hands at parsley, and tomato pesto; similar but still different in character despite the close relation.
The starting point are the dry ingredients. The amount of oil needed depends on the nature of the herbs and nuts. You just need to have some good olive oil in stock and go with the flow.
The green pesto was a blend of 100 gr flat leaf parsley, some basil, 50 gr pumpkin seeds and the necessary amount of olive oil to achieve the right kind of texture.
The red pesto was a mix of 100 gr sun-dried tomatoes, 50 gr basil and 50 gr sunflower seeds. It took quite some oil to moisten the tomatoes and get a nice soft paste, but the taste came out really rich and dense.
I also used some garlic and chili that are great, albeit optional, taste enhancers. The yield was one jar of each pesto.
To keep the pesto for as long as possible, it is recommended that you wash the jars and lids thoroughly and place them upside down in the oven at 130 C until dry. Take them out, let them cool a bit, transfer the pesto to the disinfected jars and seal with the clean lids.
Using a clean and dry spoon and making sure that the mixture stays moist will help preserve it longer (in the fridge of course). An extra coating of olive oil now and then, and some drops of lemon juice are good maintenance tricks.
That’s it. Having some pesto in the fridge allows for some lazy cooking, because it can lift up literally anything – from bread and salad to rice, pasta and sauces.