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Sally Clarke's perfect homemade pesto. This easy-to-make pesto will add a fresh taste to any meal. Basil is best used in the summer time and avoid store bought grated parmesan. Traditionally this dish is made with a pestle and mortar, but Sally prefers to chop everything by hand as she feels it retains brightness of colour to the dish.


  • 60g pine nuts, roughly chopped
  • 250ml olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed to a cream
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 large bunch of basil, approximately 75g leaves
  • 75g grated Parmesan


In a flat heavy-based frying pan heat the pine nuts gently in half the olive oil until golden (3 - 4 minutes). Do not overcook as the taste of the nut will become bitter.

Take off the heat and immediately add the garlic cream. Swirl the pan carefully allowing the garlic to blend evenly into the oil. Season with salt and pepper and leave to cool.

Pick the basil leaves from the stems, stack together and chop finely with a sharp knife. Place into a bowl with the remaining olive oil.

Pour the pine nuts and flavoured olive oil into the bowl and stir together, then finally fold in the grated Parmesan. Taste and adjust the season.

This may be stored in a screw top jar for up to 10 days, however the fresher the better.

Top Tips:

For this recipe, basil is best in the summer months.

Be careful when roasting the pine nuts, they should only just have turned golden brown. Any more will add bitterness to the pesto.

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