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Basil Pesto

Whether you grow fresh basil yourself or buy it at the market, inevitably you will end up with more than you need.  Having an easy Basil Pesto recipe up your sleeve will come in quite handy.

The basic ingredients are fresh herbs, in this case basil.  Combined with nuts, in this case pine nuts.  Then garlic and olive oil are added.  Next comes grated cheese, in this case Parmesan.  Finished with salt & pepper.  Typically the ingredients are combined in a food processor, but a mortar and pestle can be used as well.  Once you have the basic feel for making pesto it’s easy to change up the specific herbs, nuts, cheeses, and oils.

Basil Pesto

Basil Pesto
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Sauce
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • ⅓ cup pine nuts
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • salt & freshly cracked pepper
  1. In the bowl of a food processor add the basil leaves, pine nuts, and garlic cloves. Pulse a few times until the ingredients are chopped.
  2. With the processor running on low, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Scrap down the sides of the bowl, then add the Parmesan cheese and pulse a few more times. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
  3. If you are going to freeze the pesto, omit the cheese. Freeze basil mixture in ice cube trays lined with plastic wrap, then transfer cubes to a freezer bag.
This basic recipe can easily be changed up by substituting other soft herbs, such as cilantro, parsley or sage. Walnuts, pecans, and macadamia nuts are also great alternatives to pine nuts. Other hard cheeses in place of Parmesan can give the pesto a fresh taste as well.


Here are some of our favorite uses for Pesto…

Parmesan Pesto Grilled Tomato Ham & Cheese


Parmesan Pesto Grilled Tomato, Ham & Cheese Sandwich



Spinach & Avocado with Pesto Grilled Cheese


Spinach & Avocado with Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwich



Sage Pecan Pesto Encrusted Turkey Tenderloin


Sage Pecan Pesto Encrusted Turkey Tenderloin



Seared Scallops with Macadamia Cilantro Lime Pesto


Seared Scallops with Macadamia Cilantro Pesto

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