Freshly made pesto with colourful crudités and cheese




In Italy at a cooking course in Siena we made pesto in a pestle and mortar, with freshly plucked basil and the most divine olive oil from the region.  It was all about the 'pestare' - crushing and mashing - and using that pestle!  So now I feel super bad if I throw it together in a food processor (even though it is way quicker!). So if you have time and have some friends hanging about willing to help - do yourself a favour and make this for real, from scratch with some muscly helpers.


  • 2 garlic cloves preferably local, fresh and plump
  • 4 bunches of fresh young basil leaves
  • 30 g pine nuts
  • 10 g sea salt
  • 80 g parmesan freshly grated (or a mix of pecorino and parmesan)
  • 70 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil


  1. Grind up the garlic in the base of the mortar.  

  2. Add in the leaves - a few at a time and grind them around the edges of your mortar. When you have the leaves all broken up you can add in the pine nuts and salt and work these into a paste with the fresh herbs. 

  3. Finely tip in the grated cheese. Scrape all the mixture into a bowl and drizzle in the oil, stirring to combine.

For another idea for your platter, click here to find a recipe for Pepita Seed Pate or Dip

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