Basil Pesto Recipe
I usually make pesto when basil is at its best and fortunately when basil is at its best it’s also abundant and cheap so I usually end up making pesto in big batches.
I leave some in my fridge, jar some up for friends and freeze the rest. The freezing affects pesto slightly but in winter, when there is no fresh basil, I’ve still got better pesto than I can buy from any deli or shop.
In those colder months I toss it through my Italian pastas, dollop it in my soup or spread it on toasted French bread. It’s simply delicious!
Enjoy my homemade pesto recipe below!
- 6 bunches basil
- 1.5 cups pine nuts
- 1 cup parmesan grated
- 3 cloves garlic
- sea salt flakes
- pepper freshly ground
- Toss the pine nuts in a dry pan over medium high heat until golden brown.
- Remove and allow to cool.
- Cook the garlic in a little olive oil until soft, remove and allow to cool.
- Pick all the leaves off the stems and discard the stems.
- Place all the leaves into a food processor and chop on high (you may need to add a little olive oil to get the leaves moving).
- Once they are very roughly chopped add the cooled nuts, garlic and parmesan cheese.
- Process on high and add the olive oil as you do, if you prefer a stiffer pesto, only add about half the olive oil.
- Process until rustically smooth.
- Season to taste with salt & pepper.
And here’s some trivia for food history buffs: pesto comes from Genoa, Italy’s beautiful port city on the Ligurian coast. It has become one of Italy’s most iconic foods and for good reason. It’s delicious and incredibly versatile as you can add it to pasta, soups or eat it as is on a loaf of bread.
Pesto’s original recipe also calls for pecorino cheese, so if you have any available in your pantry you can mix it with parmesan for an extra added flavor.