A friend who used to run a well known venue and who is a very good chef just emailed asking me for my pesto recipe. In reality, there isn't a recipe in that I cannot do measurements for toffee -or anything else; it's all, as they say in my village, 'eye percent measurement", but I sent her a loose description of what I do and where it differs from standard pesto -thought I would also post it here, so here it is:
Pesto is very simple and really the only difference with the standard recipe is that I don't put the basil in the blender but chop it by hand -the flavour is different that way. I also try to take most of the twigs out.
What you need is basil -of course-, garlic, pine kernels, parmesan cheese, olive oil, salt and pepper.
The pine kernels can go in the blender but I prefer the texture if you either crush them by hand or run them through one of those little mills -a coffee grinder might do. You might want to try toasting them a little before grinding them, this gives it a slightly different flavour. I find the taste of Parmesan cheese changes on how you cut it or grate it; I prefer it pulverised (er, this is not the right word) rather than in little strips as you would get from a hand grater, if you know what I mean.
As I said, I chop the basil by hand -I do this with a kitchen knife and I'm sure you can do this with a far more efficient technique than I can :D -quite small bits by the end of it but not ground, no blender (although Italians do blend it).
There's nothing that much to this, then: Lots of chopped basil, a fair bit of crushed pine kernels, lots of parmesan and a bit more garlic than you might feel is prudent. Add lots of olive oil, salt and pepper and mix. There is nothing else to it. There are many variations but I tend to stick to what I've found I like so haven't tried any.
I told you I didn't do measurements, sori:)