1 + 1/2 cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves
1 cup firmly packed arugula/rocket (wild rocket is ideal)
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for sealing
1/3 cup pine nuts (cashews or blanched almonds can also be used)
2 garlic cloves
2/3 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, finely grated (optional)
You can use a food processor, an electric grinder or a more traditional mortar and pestle. If using mortar and pestle, pound garlic and pine nuts together first before adding herbs and olive oil.
If using a food processor or an electric grinder, combine basil, rocket, pine nuts, garlic, zest of 1 lemon, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, salt and olive oil. Process until smooth and then add and incorporate grated parmesan if you want to include it. It’s just as delicious without.
Store in a clean, air-tight jar or a container with a thin layer of olive oil on top to seal in the mix. Pesto should keep for up to two weeks in the fridge. It will lose a bit of colour over time.
I just threw in raw pine nuts but you can pre-toast them in the oven or in a frying pan before grinding for a deeper flavour. You can use other herbs like parsley, oregano, sage and thyme to create new flavours.