Basil pesto

Homemade pesto is just about the most nutritionally dense food I can imagine. I make mine with different fresh greens from my vegetable garden, along with plenty of mixed nuts and seeds, garlic, parmesan and good olive oil. It will happily keep in the refrigerator for a week with a drizzle of olive oil over the surface.

You can include pesto in just about any meal. I make my son ricotta or cream cheese sandwiches mixed with pesto and he adores them. You can also stir it through hot or cold pasta, or spoon it onto a baked potato or over grilled meats.


75 g (1½ cups) firmly packed basil leaves, or use a mixture of basil, parsley and baby spinach

50 g (1/3 cup) pine nuts, walnuts, cashew nuts or almonds, or use a mixture and throw in some pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

35 g (1/3 cup) grated parmesan

1 garlic clove, chopped

3–4 tablespoons good-quality olive oil

  • Makes about 1 cup


In the small bowl of a food processor, blend the herbs, nuts, cheese and garlic until almost smooth, occasionally scraping down the side. Add the oil in a slow, thin stream and blend until smooth.

Thermomix pesto: if you’re a Thermomix owner, you can make this by placing all the ingredients except the olive oil in the mixing bowl and pressing briefly 4 times/1 sec/closed lid/Turbo or until the mixture is almost smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the oil and mix 10 sec/speed 3.