alsahwa farm noosa
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Here at Alsahwa Farm, our veggie garden is bursting with fragrant herbs. Among them, one of our all-time favourites is basil. A staple in our gardens and a cornerstone of many cuisines, basil embodies the essence of freshness and flavour. One of the most iconic uses of basil is in the classic Italian sauce known as Pesto. Originating from the coastal region of Liguria, pesto is a vibrant amalgamation of fresh basil, pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and extra virgin olive oil. Its name, derived from the Genoese word “pestâ” meaning to pound or crush, aptly describes the traditional method of preparing this verdant sauce using a mortar and pestle. Homemade Basil Pesto Ingredients:
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  1. In a food processor (or mortar and pestle if you are a true basil connoisseur), combine the basil leaves, pine nuts, and garlic. Pulse until finely chopped.
  2. With the food processor running, gradually add the olive oil in a steady stream until the mixture is smooth and well combined.
  3. Add the Parmesan cheese and pulse until incorporated.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Transfer the pesto to a jar and store it in the refrigerator for up to a week, or freeze it for longer preservation.
Fun Facts About Pesto
  • Traditional pesto was originally made with a mortar and pestle, which allowed the ingredients to be crushed rather than chopped, resulting in a smoother texture and more vibrant flavor.
  • Pesto alla Genovese, the most well-known variation of pesto, received its protected designation of origin status from the European Union in 2008, ensuring that only pesto made according to traditional methods in the Liguria region can bear its name.
  • In addition to being a delicious sauce for pasta, pesto can also be used as a spread on sandwiches, a topping for grilled meats and vegetables, or a flavor enhancer for soups and salads.