Fresh, homemade basil pesto can be used as an easy marinade for grilled and roast meats OR stirred through a big bowl of pasta or zucchini noodles for a quick dinner solution!
Pesto can be placed with any of your favourite savoury meals to give it a nice, fresh kick! Better than any store bought pesto, with a flavour-packed punch with only 5 ingredients and a food processor.
Many, many years ago, there once lived an extremely lazy young girl that would only buy and consume bottled pesto. Fast forward to current day, and the now older (and I’d like to think wiser), young woman has turned into a fresh-food snob and would never think to buy pesto from a bottle ever again.
Pesto is so unbelievably easy to make, I can guarantee you that when you try this, you too will become a pesto snob, holding your head high when passing the condiment section in the supermarket and vow to never buy store bought again. Nothing beats the COLOUR and FLAVOUR from freshly made. We eat it with anything. On toast (yes, on toast!), in sandwiches, on spaghetti or zucchini noodles, and even smothered all over chicken or other meats (fish is damn good too).
HOW TO MAKE PESTO
Start by lightly toasting your pine nuts in a skillet or pan. If you can, really try not to skimp on this part. It enhances the flavour and tastes way better than plain old pine nuts.
Throw them with everything else into a food processor (except for the olive oil), and process until chopped. I use a mini food processor like this one, because I find it to works better and processes better for the amount of ingredients used in this recipe.
THEN, add your oil in a nice, thin stream until emulsified……and the most perfect condiment you’ve ever seen will appear before your very eyes.
WHAT IS PESTO USED FOR?
Regularly used as a pasta sauce, PESTO is extremely versatile and has many other uses.
- A sauce for any meat or fish.
- Add it into an Alfredo sauce.
- Spoon it over roasted vegetables.
- Spread into a sandwich or grilled cheese.
- Drizzle over gilled or baked chicken.
- Use it as an appetizer and spread onto crostini or crusty garlic bread.
- Serve as a dip!
- Mix it through a salad to use as dressing (like our Pesto Grilled Chicken Avocado Salad).
- A pizza topping!
Any leftover pesto can be stored in an air tight jar and refrigerated for one week. Alternatively, freeze in a small plastic container for up to 3 months.
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
- 2 cups basil leaves, washed and packed
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/3 cup fresh shredded parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- salt to taste
- Heat a skillet (or pan) over medium-high heat; toast pine nuts until golden, tossing occasionally in the pan. Add the pine nuts to the bowl of your along with the basil, garlic and parmesan cheese; pulse until finely chopped (scrape down the sides of the food processor if needed).
- With the processor running, gradually add the olive oil in a thin stream until the pesto comes together and is well combined. (Scrape down the sides of the food processor again, if needed). Season with salt to your taste.
Nutritional Label: Based on 2 tablespoons of pesto per serve
R Pomerantz says
We’ve been making pesto for many years and absolutely love it. This season has been a bumper year for basil and have already made 5 batches. We give it to friends and family, but not too much. We freeze plenty for the winter months, when no one can afford to buy fresh basil. Favorite is pesto with bow tie pasta and grilled shrimp.
joann breckenridge says
i use shelled sunflower seeds taste just as good as if you had used pine nuts and its a whole lot cheaper
BETH PARROTT says
The Pesto was great – I will definitely make it again. I was excited to see a pesto recipe that was recommended for the mini-prep since that’s the only food processor I have. But it doesn’t really work – There’s no opening in the lid for adding the oil. I made due by processing the other ingredients as finely as possible then transferring them to a bowl and adding the oil slowly using a whisk. Thanks for a great recipe.
Lovely this recipe, perfect proportions, thank you.
Just found this pesto recipe! Really Good! Throw in a little lemon juice and zest, and it’s absolutely perfect.
I have a pine allergy and eating pine nuts scares me. Can I use another type of nut – maybe like walnuts instead? other than that the recipe looks great
Yes, that sounds great! Enjoy!
I have used pecans instead. Tasted great.
Peggy Shinkle says
I just used pumpkin seeds because that is what I had.. flavor is still good and nutty! Maybe it’s a little dryer, I just added more oil. I always use what’s on hand.
My 1st time making pesto, and it was fantastic! Directions were easy to follow, too! Thanks for sharing!
YAY! That is great to hear! Thank you so much for sharing! XO
Great recipe post for the Pesto as well the follow up one with the chicken. Enjoy the writing and been shadow reading the blog for a little while now. Keep up the inspiring food posts.
Hi. Im sorry to say, I’d have married you, not just to eat what you make you, to see and experience it too. Sorry for bad english. Youre a miracle. Please provide nutrition information too. Yoi have a die hard fan from india. Cheers.