Sunday, September 27, 2009

Basil Pesto

In case you haven't figured it out yet, I'm a huge fan of basil. Give me basil any day of the week and I'm a happy camper. (If you really want to make me happy, throw a little cheese into the mix.)

This led to my discovery that I really needed some pesto in my life. After all, think of all the uses for basil pesto:

- Toss it with some pasta
- Use it as a topping for meats or vegetables
- Spread it on bruschetta
- Add it to a grilled cheese (or any sandwich)

I'm sure there are additional ways to use basil pesto that I don't even know about yet! The possibilities are endless...

Basil Pesto
slightly adapted from The Food Network
yields~ 2/3 cup

  • 2 cups loosely packed basil leaves, washed and dried thoroughly
  • 2 tablespoons (toasted) pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1) In a food processor, combine the basil, pine nuts, Parmesan, garlic, and salt and puree.

2) Add the oil in increments to the chopped ingredients until incorporated. (The original recipe calls for drizzling in the oil while the food processor motor is running, but the food processor I used doesn't have that feature.)

3) Season with pepper to taste. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator with a piece of plastic wrap placed right on the surface of the pesto to prevent discoloration, for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 1 month.

Since I enjoy cheese so much, I increased the amount I used in this recipe. I was also feeling lazy, so I also opted not to toast the pine nuts like the original recipe called for. It's your choice. The result still tastes great!

What I love about this recipe is that I don't have to worry about changing the proportions or adding more or less of any ingredient. This pesto is so forgiving! Well, I guess any pesto could be forgiving, but this is the best recipe, for obvious reasons.


  1. I've always wanted to make my own pesto but for some reason have never gotten around to it - yours looks great!

  2. I just made my very best pesto tonight thanks to your recipe. Good proportions! I baked some chicken real simple and added a generous dollop of fresh pesto on top after plating. Delicious. I will now tweet a link to your recipe. @rootwalker