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Appears in

The Sugar Club Cookbook

By Peter Gordon

Published 1997

  • About

A ‘pesto’ is simply a sauce, and there are as many ways to make it as there are cooks. In some parts of Italy – especially Liguria, where it originally comes from – it is only made with pecorino sardo, a delicious sharp ewe’s cheese. Parmesan wouldn’t even get a look in. Personally, what I’m serving it with influences how much of each ingredient I put into it. I love pesto with grilled fish, when I use a little less parmesan. For roast pumpkin I add more parmesan. I also love it thinned down with olive oil as a salad dressing, when I reduce the amount of garlic and add a little lemon juice. And so on. The following recipe will make enough for a good-sized jar of tasty pesto.


  • 10 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 3 loosely packed cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1 loosely packed cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 500ml (18fl oz) olive oil
  • 1 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted to a golden brown and left to go cold
  • 1 cup finely grated parmesan
  • Some more olive oil


Put the garlic, herbs, olive oil and pine nuts into a food processer and purée to a coarse paste, but be careful not to overwork it. Turn into a mixing bowl and stir in the parmesan. Stir in more olive oil to get the consistency you want.

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