Classic Basil Pesto

When I pick up the scent of bunches of fragrant basil in the market, I can’t help but think of the classic pesto. Brilliant of course as a sauce/condiment for pasta don’t limit it’s awesome-ness to just one dish…

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…consider using it in the following:

  • Pesto Bruschetta
  • Pesto Caprese Salad (why just use the basil leaves!)
  • Pesto Pizza
  • Pesto Roasted Chicken

Close your eyes and you could be at a table in the Liguria region of Italy! 

Like all seasonal produce, take advantage and get it while it’s fresh ‘n local. The use of oil will have it last for some time in the fridge, preferably in a glass container, and covered. If you omit the cheese, adding it later when you use it, it’s apparently freezable – but I’ve yet to try this. No matter how much I make, it’s never enough! Perhaps this year, it’ll be different… and next time I go to the market and the scent of basil is calling me, I’ll buy more, much more, than I think I need. 

While you can use a mortar & pestle or food processor, some are partial to only one way. I’ve used both, with no discernible difference in taste, and of course a food processor does the work for you.


Classic Basil Pesto
Yields 1
A classic Italian 'sauce' with many uses~
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
  1. 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  2. 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  3. 1/4 cup pine nuts
  4. 1 garlic clove
  5. 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  6. 1/2 to 1 tsp coarse kosher salt (use to your taste)
  7. few grinds fresh black pepper
  1. Combine first 4 ingredients in food processor or blender - or use a mortar & pestle and make it by hand.
  2. Blend until paste forms, stopping often to push down basil.
  3. Add the cheese and salt; blend until smooth.
  4. Transfer to small glass container/jar/bowl.
  5. Top with a small layer of extra virgin olive oil and chill.
Best Tips
  1. *If you use a machine, drop the garlic in first - it'll mince perfectly~
  2. **To freeze, leave the cheese out - you can add it when you use it!
Adapted from Epicurious
Adapted from Epicurious
farm girl city chef

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