How to Make Basil Pesto from Scratch – Fresh and Tasty
This versatile, no-cook sauce can be enjoyed with many of your favorite pasta, fish, chicken, soup, or vegetable recipes. Learning how to make basil pesto from scratch is a lot easier than you might think.
If you grow basil in your summer garden, in your windowsill all year long, or even in your AeroGarden like we have–you will probably be looking for new recipes to use up your bountiful basil crop. Basil grows really well when trimmed properly. It can be a garden gift that keeps on giving.
We love basil pesto in a variety of recipes, but you’ll love all of our favorite recipes with pesto.
Most modern recipes, including this one, call for making pesto with a food processor to combine the ingredients. This method works well, but produces a very homogenized final result.
For a more traditional approach, try hand-chopping the individual ingredients. The individual components will be less uniform, resulting in more distinct individual flavors among bites. A mortar and pestle also works nicely for making pesto the old fashioned way.
Use immediately. Freeze leftovers in ice cube trays covered with a layer of olive oil. Once frozen, remove “pesto cubes” from trays and store in freezer-safe plastic bags for future use in soups or stews. You will love the added flavor!Print
Homemade Basil Pesto
- 2 cups fresh basil, loosely packed
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- 2–3 garlic cloves, peeled (amount based on personal taste and strength of garlic variety used).
- 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons really good extra virgin olive oil
- 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Remove basil leaves from stems, then wash and pat dry. Add basil, pine nuts, and peeled garlic gloves to food processor or blender. Quickly pulse until barely combined, then add 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil and blend thoroughly.
- Transfer to a medium glass bowl. Stir in Parmesan cheese and remaining olive oil to achieve the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
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