Okay, I am writing this question as a result of a long experience in trying to make pesto at home :p I like pesto sauce alot and that is why I have decided that I should make this at home. But for some reason when I make the pesto sauce I almost completely lose the flavor of the basil. It tastes more like oil. And yes I have tried varying amounts of oil and basil and still it tastes atmost like oil with grass in it. Here are more details:
1- I stay in UK at the moment so my basils are nearby and they seems to be grown in Wessex if what is written on them is true. When eaten as a leaf they have quite alot of flavor.
2- I have tried using a blender, mortar and pestle and also manual chopping to create the basil paste. After the chopping is complete, I tried tasting the basil paste before mixing it with oil and other ingredients and it tastes like grass more or less, with very little flavor left. I wash the basil leaves before making the pesto as the package itself says so. I use the mediterennian type basil.
3- It tastes slightly better when it is cooked a little bit or left in oil for some weeks but I have seen instances where freshly made uncooked pesto also tastes great, so I must be doing something wrong.
4- I have never grown the basil myself however to increase freshness I have tried buying already grown basil plants in pots.
Since I have exhausted all possible methods of pesto making it seems to me that either:
a- Since its quite rainy and not so sunny in UK the basil leaves from here have too much water content and to little plant oil content and they need to be dried for some time before being chopped. This might be supported by the observation that when I chop them on wooden board I get quite a lot of wetness marks on the board. And when I use fresh basil from the pot they are usually well watered.
b- UK basil is not good for pesto?
c- I am somehow mistreating the basil, I should put much less pressure when using a blade or mortar.
Any suggestions is most welcome :)