How to Make Pesto Genovese {Classic Basil Pesto}

A great basil pesto recipe! Learn how to make to this Italian classic in a few simple steps and with just a handful of ingredients.

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Happy Monday guys! Today I’m sharing a really simple recipe that I think you’re all going to love! It’ll take you literally minutes to make and tastes out of this world good! This Homemade Pesto Genovese is the best pesto I have made to date and it couldn’t be any easier or simpler to make!

The “secret” ingredient that makes my pesto taste so good is the roasted garlic. Roasted garlic is such an underrated ingredient, it transforms this pesto and adds a light and sweet flavour. Before I perfected my own pesto recipe, I’d always made pesto with raw garlic. It’s ok, but I find it leaves a bitter taste in your mouth afterwards, whereas the roasted garlic is sweeter and gives a more rounded flavour without leaving a bitter aftertaste. I found these instructions for roasting garlic on thekitchn.com here. It filled my kitchen with most gorgeous garlic aroma and I would highly recommend you give it a try!

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I don’t know about you, but nothing shouts summer more than homemade pesto. I love it served with grilled veggies, it’s good in sandwiches or subs, amazing drizzled over bruschetta (yum!), but definitely my favourite way to serve it is with pasta.

I cooked this delicious pasta dish inspired by one of my favourite food blogs Cooking Classy. All Jaclyn’s recipes look divine and when my sister saw this pesto spaghetti with roasted tomatoes and grilled chicken she said it looked really delicious and it was definitely a hint for me to make something similar with my homemade pesto. So I based this chicken and pesto pasta dish based around the one on Jaclyn’s site for those who have asked for the recipe. When I next make this pesto, I’m definitely going to be trying these tasty pesto & halloumi veggie burgers!

tomatoes for roasting

Roasted tomatoes with a mix of homegrown herbs including oregano, thyme and rosemary and I added a few extra cloves of roasted garlic. The pasta dish was delicious and made a great dinner. I mixed together the pesto I made with some spaghetti, but you can honestly use any pasta shape you like for this dish, and then topped the pasta with pieces of grilled chicken, the roasted cherry tomatoes, toasted pine nuts and fresh basil leaves for garnish. And not to forget, sprinkled with lots (and lots) of freshly grated parmigiano! Effortlessly delicious.

pesto spaghetti

With just a handful of ingredients, this basil pesto is not only satisying on the taste buds but it’s definitely worth going the extra mile to make it yourself! It’s a lifesaver on busy weeknights when you don’t have the time or energy to cook. You can make it ahead of time, so it’s waiting for you to use in the refrigerator ready for a tasty dinner!

Both the pesto and pasta dish got wonderful reviews from the W.J.B.N taste testers. So you know the recipes are good! Now you have the recipe, you won’t have the excuse to buy store-bought pesto ever again!

Ingredients –

2 handfuls/cups fresh basil leaves, packed – you can sub the basil for spinach leaves, if preferred

3 cloves roasted garlic

45g (1/3 cup) pine nuts, toasted

55g (2 ounces) parmesan, freshly grated

5-6 tbsp extra virgin olive

Good squeeze fresh lemon juice (optional)

Salt and cracked black pepper, to taste

Method –

1. In a food processor pulse together the basil, garlic, pine nuts and parmesan until they are minced.

2. With the processor on slow add the oil (about a tbsp at a time) in a slow stream. Now season to taste with salt and black pepper. Process for another minute until all the ingredients are combined. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

3. Place the pesto in a jar or bowl and drizzle over a little extra oil to cover the top – this keeps it fresh. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. You can also fill an ice cube tray with the pesto and freeze blocks.

Recipe Notes: 

  • If you can cannot find pine nuts you can easily substitute with walnuts, almonds, cashews or pistachios. For a nut-free version why not try sunflower seeds.
  • Adjust the consistency of your pesto by adding a tablespoon less or more oil.
  • When toasting the pine nuts always toast on a medium heat in a dry pan. Watch them as they burn very easily.
  • Along with the lemon juice, you can also add about a 1 tsp. of the zest.

basil pesto recipe

how to make pesto genovese

Enjoy the recipe guys!

jess

 

Vanilla Almond Granola

Sweet and crunchy with vanilla and almond flavour in each spoonful! Ditch the sugar-laden store bought granola for this delicious and healthy recipe!

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I’m the biggest fan of granola! I’m always making my own and I love coming up with new recipes and flavour combos.The list of my favourite granola flavours literally goes on and on, this PB + chocolate chunk granola still remains one of the best. (+ It tastes exactly like Reese’s, so you know it’s good!!) Granola makes a nutritious and energy-packed breakfast, and it’s brilliant to snack on to get through long days at work!

This creation is inspired by my mum’s recipe here! Easy healthy homemade granola is one of our favourites, but for me this for me this Vanilla Almond Granola is even more tasty! Sweet vanilla and almond combine with a touch of cinnamon spice and maple flavour, bite after bite and the cinnamon-y flavour warms your taste buds!

Whilst the granola was baking the aromas it created in my kitchen were amazing – I knew I was onto a winner! I’m really into my oat-y treats lately – did you catch the recipe for these flapjacks I recently posted?! They too are a brilliant energising snack!

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Whilst baking the flavour from the maple, cinnamon and vanilla gets stronger and even more deliciously aromatic! And before anyone asks, my recipe calls for ONE WHOLE TABLESPOON of vanilla. I love vanilla and this is a massive batch of homemade granola, so it really does make a difference – but if you’re not so keen, you can adjust to your own taste! It’s also optional to add some cinnamon to the granola mix, cinnamon is one of those ingredients that can transform any bake. These banana cupcakes prove that!

You can also customise the granola to your own taste. Add a few tablespoons of chia seeds for extra added goodness or sprinkle in some desiccated coconut. The choices are endless! And moving onto toppings, my favourites are banana and strawberries currently, but you could add anything from chopped dried fruit like apricots or dates or simply enjoy it with just milk or Greek yogurt for a protein-packed brekkie!

I guarantee you will be making this again and again. Granola lovers, get baking!

Ingredients –

300g (3 1/2 cups) jumbo rolled oats (porridge oats)

100g (3/4 cup) slivered or flaked almonds

200g (7 ounces) maple syrup

4 tbsp oil – I used rapeseed

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)

Method –

1. Preheat oven to 350°F / 180°C / 160C fan / Gas Mark 4.

2. In a small saucepan melt together the maple syrup, oil and vanilla extract on a medium heat. When the mixture is runny, take off the heat.

3. In a mixing bowl mix together the oats, almonds and cinnamon (if using). Pour the wet mixture over the oats and mix to coat fully. Make sure you cover all the oats.

4. Spread out evenly on 1-2 large baking trays. Bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring the mixture halfway through. Cook until a light golden and toasted.

5. Remove tray from oven once cooked and allow to cool. Once cooled store in an airtight container or jar. Best enjoyed with sliced banana and milk for a great, healthy breakfast!

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granola bowl pic

Enjoy the recipe guys!

jess

Strawberry Lemon Cheesecake in a Jar {No-Bake}

Strawberry Lemon Cheesecake in a jar! Layers of buttery biscuit crumble, creamy lemon vanilla cheesecake filling, strawberries and cream. The perfect summer sharing dessert!

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I was invited along with 14 other bloggers to create a foodie concoction using the humble jam jar. The Jam J-Art Challenge is to make food look good in a jam jar! I love layered desserts and one of my favourite recipes in a jar or glass is cheesecake. These Strawberry & Lemon Cheesecake in a Jar are my new favourite layered dessert!

jam jar challenge

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And as the strawberries are in season and at their best, I thought I would make a summer-style cheesecake. My cheesecake is layers of buttery biscuit crumble, creamy lemon vanilla cheesecake filling, a small layer of chopped strawberries, whipped cream and strawberries. The dessert itself is light, fresh and one of my favourite summer recipes to date. I’m new to layered desserts, I’m not the best at decorating these kind of desserts, so this challenge was great for me!

These pots are great for sharing (but I don’t usually like doing that when there’s cheesecake involved!). It’s new favourite way to serve homemade cheesecake and I will definitely be making these throughout the summer!

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I made a few cheesecakes in smaller jars with some of the leftover cheesecake mix. To be honest, the recipe as well as filling one large jar (as pictured), will fill a few extra smallish jars too!

This dessert links in with this great campaign about desserts that have inspired our sweet treats today – ‘Desserts Through the Decades’. The campaign consists of an infographic and accompanying article, tracing the desserts that were once all the rage, both conventional and bizarre, from the 1910s to the present day. I think it’s a great campaign because you get to see all the different desserts, anything from the classic Victoria sponge cake, eton mess, to the cronut! You can click here to read more!

Makes enough to fill a 1L Kilner jar + approx. 1-2 small extra jars  

Ingredients – 

Biscuit Crumble –

12 digestive biscuits, broken into small pieces

55g unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

Lemon Cheesecake Layer –

500g cream cheese, softened at room temperature

85g icing sugar, sifted

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp lemon zest

1 tbsp lemon juice

200g strawberries, hulled and cut into bitesize pieces

Toppings –

Whipped cream

Strawberries

Method –

1. To make the biscuit crumble: Crush the biscuit pieces in a food processor or a ziplock bag with a rolling pin until fine. Mix through the butter. Set aside, whilst you make the filling.

2. To make the cheesecake filling: Mix the cream cheese, icing sugar, vanilla, lemon zest and juice in a bowl. Whip the cream and then fold into the cream cheese mix.

3. To layer the cheesecake: Take approx. half the biscuit crumbs and sprinkle in the bottom of the jar. Follow by a layer of the cheesecake mix. Then top with the chopped strawberries. Top with another layer of cheesecake mix. Then scatter over some extra biscuit crumbs. Top with whipped cream and a strawberry for decoration.

4. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve!

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Enjoy the recipe everyone! I hope this dessert inspires you to make and invent your own cheesecake in a jar creations!

jess

Strawberries ‘n Cream Shortbread Sandwiches

Anyone who reads this blog regularly will know how much I like strawberries and cream. It’s one of those classics, it just works wonderfully. Sweet strawberries and vanilla whipped cream all sandwiched between two lush buttery shortbread biscuits. These shortbread sandwiches are great fun to make and require little time and effort to make, so they would be great to serve as a quick dessert this summer and they’re sure to amaze anyone who eats them!

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If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen these gorgeous strawberries I snapped in London the other day? They were absolutely beautiful and I couldn’t resist taking a picture! And for a pound these were pretty much a bargain for London prices!

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The strawberries inspired this latest bake of mine. Strawberries and cream and shortbread has always been one my favourite treats. Last year I shared this divine No-Churn Strawberry Shortbread Ice Cream ready for Wimbledon and it still remains one of my favourite ice cream recipes. And as you all, my amazing readers enjoyed the recipe so much, I knew this summer I needed to share more strawberry shortbread creations on the blog again this year!

These shortbread sandwiches would make a delicious summery treat. The shortbread biscuits can be made ahead of time and then straight before serving all you need to do is dollop or pipe some vanilla cream onto one biscuit, then top with sliced strawberries and sandwich together with another shortbread biscuit. Finish with a light dusting of icing sugar and then devour!

Also, with Father’s Day this weekend they would make a brilliant bake for the amazing dad’s out there! My dad loves pretty much all of my bakes – but I think these shortbread sandwiches would make a simple and easy recipe to celebrate with!

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Ingredients – 

(Makes approx. 8-10 shortbread sandwiches)

125g unsalted butter, softened

55g caster or granulated sugar (superfine)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

180g plain flour (all-purpose)

Filling –

8 ounce (227g) pot double cream, chilled

1 tsp vanilla extract

200g fresh strawberries, sliced

Icing sugar, for dusting

Method –

1. To make the shortbread: Cream the softened butter, sugar and vanilla until fluffy and light. Add the flour and fold into a soft dough. Lightly dust a work surface with a flour and roll the dough out until it reaches approx. 1 cm thickness. Take a medium sized cookie cutter and stamp out rounds.

2. Place the shortbread rounds on a large baking tray, space them apart. Prick across the centre with a fork and place the tray in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 190C/375F/Gas Mark 5. Bake the shortbread for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden. Allow to cool the tray for 5 minutes, then transport to a wire rack to finish cooling.

4. Once the shortbread are completely cool start preparing the fillings. Whisk the cream and vanilla until soft peaks form. Dollop about a heaped tablespoon of cream onto one shortbread half. Top with the sliced strawberries. Then sandwich together with another shortbread half. Finish with a light dusting of icing sugar or caster sugar.

5. Serve chilled for a delicious afternoon tea treat!

More desserts you may like to try!

lemon posset

Lemon Posset with Berries & Shortbread

eton mess cheesecake

Eton Mess Cheesecake

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Lemon & Passionfruit Tart 

tart easy recipe

Tarte aux Fraises 

Enjoy the recipe! Have a great weekend everyone!

jess

 

 

 

 

Linguine Gamberi

Linguine with prawns flavoured with chilli, lemon, garlic and parsley. One of the tastiest seafood pasta dishes you will try and it’s all ready in less than 15 minutes!

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I came up with this recipe when I was on holiday in Sardinia a couple of years ago, where the majority of our meals were based around the fresh seafood on offer and most nights we ate pasta. This dish is perfect to eat anytime of year – it’s a great al fresco meal for the summer, but also extremely flavourful and warming in the colder months too. I love this recipe because fresh flavours are brought together to create an amazing seafood dish that takes hardly any time to make and has to be one of the best dinners you could eat! Just eating this dish transports me back to the beautiful sunny Italian island!

Pasta dishes are definitely one of my specialities! Pasta is a very versatile ingredient, I have shared many different creations on the blog so far, including this spaghetti with marinara sauce and this delicious pesto linguine with halloumi cheese and roasted tomatoes.

This linguine gamberi is truly one of my go-to quick dinner recipes. It would definitely be my last meal on earth – I LOVE anything with garlic butter!

The recipe is based on one of my favourite pasta sauces, aglio e olio – which is simply a sauce made out of garlic oil, you can also add some pepperoncino (chilli flakes) if you like too! All you have to do to make this dish is cook some linguine or any other of your favourite pasta shapes, flavour the oil with garlic, red chilli and lemon, then gently cook the prawns. Add some butter – which adds the indulgence and helps keep the prawns tender and then toss together with the cooked drained pasta. It couldn’t be any simpler!

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I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t love a bowl of this pasta for their dinner! Comfort food to the max. This is sure to impress anyone who tries it! Serve with a big glass of chilled white wine for the ultimate dinner, perfect for any night of the week! Enjoy the recipe guys!

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(Serves 4 portions)

Ingredients –

500g dried spaghetti

225g raw tiger prawns, cleaned and de-veined

75g butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 – 3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

1 unwaxed lemon, zest + juice of half

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Method –

1. Cook the linguine in salted boiling water according to the packets instructions.

2. Once the pasta is near enough cooked, add the olive oil to a large frying pan. Gently sauté chopped garlic, chilli and lemon zest until fragrant, then add the prawns and the lemon juice and continue cooking for about 3 minutes or until they start to turn pink in colour.

3. Once the prawns are cooked add the butter and cook on a medium heat to warm the prawns completely through and melt the butter. Toss the drained pasta and prawns together in the pan. I also like to sprinkle over a little freshly grated parmesan too. Serve in pasta bowls and enjoy!

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Original recipe posted October 2013

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More pasta recipes you may like:

Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce 

Pesto Linguine with Halloumi & Roasted Tomatoes 

Spaghetti with Courgettes, Chilli, Lemon & Garlic 

Enjoy the recipe!

jess

Flapjacks

This is a sponsored post post written by me on behalf of Delicious Alchemy. All writing and pictures are all my own work.

British classic sweet oat bar treat. Soft + chewy and the perfect afternoon pick-me-up.

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Today I’m sharing one of my favourite childhood treats. Classic flapjacks are gooey, buttery and sweet and make a simply delicious treat. I just love the addition of golden syrup – which not only adds amazing light treacle flavour, but makes the flapjacks super squidgy and chewy!

Though you probably won’t have been able to tell by the name, flapjacks are basically very scrummy oat bars. Traditionally made from just 4-ingredients (consisting of rolled oats, golden syrup, sugar and butter). But you can also add other additional ingredients that take your fancy, such as coconut, lemon zest, a pinch of cinnamon, nuts or chocolate chips.

I’ve made these flapjacks gluten-free. I was recently sent a few products from Delicious Alchemy to test out. I will be sharing a few more bakes using their wonderful products – so stayed tuned for those! Delicious Alchemy was started by Emma Killilea. Emma was diagnosed as coeliac – meaning she cannot eat any products containing gluten. She quit her job and went to university to study food science and marketing. After uni, Emma then went on to set up her company, focussing on easy-to-make mixes that are gluten-free and dairy-free.

On the Delicious Alchemy website you can find many gluten-free and dairy-free mixes and products, click here to browse through their amazing range.

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Chewy, sweet and an easy bake to make to serve alongside a cup of tea or coffee. These also make a great on-the-go breakfast too!

This recipe comes from the wonderful Lorraine Pascale’s cookbook Baking Made Easy. I’ve been baking these flapjacks for many years now and they’re a particular family favourite. I really love the addition of lemon zest, which brings a little zing and freshness to the bars.

There’s something so satisfying about enjoying a square of freshly baked flapjack. I hope you will enjoy making and eating these as much as we do!

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 Ingredients –

(Makes 16 squares) 

175g unsalted butter, cubed

175ml golden syrup – I use Lyle’s 

175g light brown sugar (muscovado)

350g porridge oats (I used Delicious Alchemy Gluten-Free)

1/2 zest from 1 lemon (optional)

Method –

1. Preheat oven to 150C / 300F / Gas Mark 2. Line a 20cm square cake tin with greaseproof paper and grease well. Set aside.

2. Melt the butter. Add the golden syrup, sugar and zest and continue to cook and stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Stir through the porridge oats. Once the oats are completely covered, spread the mixture out into the lined tin. Press down well with the back of a spoon or a spatula.

3. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Once cooked, allow to cool in the tin completely. Then slice and up and enjoy!

Note:

  • The flapjacks will keep in an airtight container in the fridge or out at room temperature for up to 1 week.
  • I put the flapjack in the refrigerator before slicing.

Recipe adapted very slightly from Baking Made Easy by Lorraine Pascale

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Enjoy the recipe! Have a great weekend everyone! 

jess

You can also use the code ‘DA20%off’ for 20% discount on products available on deliciousalchemy.co.uk

S’mores Cupcakes

Chocolate fudge cupcakes swirled with creamy dreamy marshmallow whipped frosting. Drizzled with milk chocolate and topped with crumbled biscuits! The ultimate summertime treat!

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It’s officially summertime – aka s’mores season! So no better time to celebrate than with one of my fantastic S’mores Cupcakes!

These are seriously the BEST chocolate cupcakes you will ever eat. Chocolate fudge cupcakes are topped the ultimate (and easiest + quick!) marshmallow frosting. Then sprinkled with crumbled digestives AND drizzled with chocolate! Cupcake HEAVEN.

This recipe was inspired by my friend Jenny. She is the talented lady behind the food blog The Brunette Baker. Jenny was over in the UK recently and she kindly sent me over a package of North American candy and chocolate. When I received the food parcel in the post I was unbelievably excited to try the candies. I even got to try S’mores Oreos! They’re pretty delicious and I literally cannot stop eating them…:D

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When I shared the recipe for these amazing Nutella cupcakes I expressed on that blog post much I love these decadent chocolate cupcakes. They really are honestly the fudgiest chocolate cupcake I’ve made and the recipe is so easy and quick to make. Before frosting, I could definitely devour the entire batch! But marshmallow whipped frosting makes any cupcake even more delicious, right?!

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Ingredients –

(Makes 12 cupcakes)

Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes –

1 cup (120g) plain flour (all-purpose)

1 cup + 2 tbsp (225g) granulated sugar

1/3 cup (35g) cocoa powder

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup (120g) unsalted butter, melted and still warm

2 large free-range eggs, at room temperature

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup (120ml) freshly brewed coffee or boiling water

Marshmallow Frosting –

150g (1/2 cup + 2 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened

300g (3 cups) icing sugar, sifted

1-2 tbsp milk

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

200g marshmallow fluff

Method –

1. To make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 175 degrees C. Line a cupcake tin with 10-12 paper liners and set aside. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda and salt until combined.

2. Add the melted butter, eggs and vanilla and beat until incorporated.

3. Add half the boiling water/coffee and continue to beat the mixture.

4. Add the remaining water/coffee and continue to beat until smooth. Equally distribute the cupcake batter between the paper liners, filling 2/3 of the way up – I use an ice cream scoop to do this or you can use a pouring jug.

5. Bake the cupcakes for 20-22 minutes or until a cake tester comes out completely clean when inserted into the centre of the cupcake. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then carefully remove and place on a wire rack to finish cooling fully.

6. To make the frosting: Cream the softened butter, icing sugar and vanilla until fluffy and pale. Add the milk and mix to combine. Then add the marshmallow fluff a spoonful at a time and mix until it’s incorporated fully.

7. Fit a piping bag with your favourite nozzle and fill with the frosting. Pipe swirls of frosting onto each cupcake. Top with crumbled biscuits, drizzle over some melted chocolate and top with an extra marshmallow!

Note: The frosted cupcakes will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Chocolate cupcake recipe adapted from Alice Medrich


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ENJOY the cupcakes! 

jess