Place the basil, nuts, garlic and salt (plus the lemon juice if using) into a blender, turn on the blade at a slow speed and gradually add the oil. Blend until the pesto reaches your require consistency.
Finely grate your cheese and stir in.
Place into airtight sterilised jars and store in the fridge.
Recipe Notes and Guidance
See Recipe tips and guidance for more details.
Be aware that fresh pesto smells different to commercial jarred pesto, since it has not been subject to any processing.
Try using roasted garlic for extra flavour.
Using extra virgin olive oil will work well too, just blend the ingredients first to make a paste and stir the oil in afterwards. Blended extra virgin olive oil can produce a bitter taste.
You can use the cheese recommended or a simple parmesan.
You can use untoasted pine nuts in this recipe, but be aware that they can create a taste deviation called Pine mouth in some people.
To help prevent the pesto turning brown, add a little lemon juice or blanche the basil leaves before adding to your recipe.