Basil Pesto

After a good start to the year with great intentions to blog more regularly, I have been a bit slack lately. I was good while on holiday but then real life struck.

Work. Summer school. Economics assignment. Laziness…

Pffft. I really should get my priorities right and get back in the kitchen where I belong! So today I did. It was a matter of having to. The Basil plants are growing like triffids and if I didn’t make pesto soon we would be having trouble getting out the door!


I’ve been meaning to make pesto for a while and now that I know how quick and easy it is I won’t hesitate to make it again. Probably when this lot runs out, which will be… probably tomorrow!

Anyway, let’s get to it.

Gather your ingredients.


You will need:

2 packed cups fresh Basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pinenuts
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Throw all ingredients except the oil into a food processor and process, adding the oil in a thin stream until smooth. This is quite a thick pesto, but you can add more oil if you like it a bit thinner.

Basil PestoThat’s it Amigo. All done. Finito.

Now was that easy, or was that easy?

Yep. Easy. Told ya!

I didn’t measure the volume of the finished product but I would say there is a good cup and a half of pesto here. We made a quick creamy chicken pesto pasta tonight which used about half of it in one go but I don’t think it will take long to get though the rest. Then I will have to make more! What a shame…

Now… does anyone have any ideas for what I can do with all the the sage in my garden? It’s taking over!

italian-style chicken pasta salad

This is so good! Great for a dinner party.

350g chicken breast fillets
¼ cup lemon juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
100g thinly sliced prosciutto
1 Lebanese cucumber
2 tablespoons seasoned pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ cups penne pasta, cooked
½ cup thinly sliced sun dried tomatoes
½ cup pitted black olives, halved
½ cup halved bottled artichoke hearts
½ cup parmesan cheese flakes

Creamy Basil Dressing

1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon seasoned pepper
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 teaspoons cornflour
1/3 cup water
2/3 cup cream
1/3 cup shredded fresh basil
Salt, to taste

Remove excess fat and sinew from chicken. Flatten slightly with a mallet or rolling pin.

Place chicken in medium bowl with combined lemon juice and garlic. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight, turning occasionally.

Cut prosciutto into thin strips. Cut cucumber in half lengthwise, then cut each half into slices.

Drain chicken and coat in seasoned pepper. Heat oil in large heavy based frying pan. Cook the chicken for four minutes on each side, or until lightly browned and cooked through. Remove from heat. Cool and cut into 2 cm pieces.

Combine pasta, chicken pieces, cucumber slices, prosciutto, sundried tomatoes and artichoke hearts in a large serving bowl. Pour warm creamy basil dressing over and toss gently to combine.. Serve salad warm or cold, sprinkled with parmesan flakes.

Creamy Basil Dressing

Combine oil, vinegar, seasoned pepper and mustard in a medium pan. Blend cornflour with water in a small bowl or jug until smooth. Add to pan. Whisk over medium heat for 2 minutes or until sauce boils or thickens. Add cream, basil and salt. Stir until heated through.