Basil Pesto

Basil Pesto
One of the best things about the summer is all of the fresh basil and one of my favourite things to do with that basil is to make pesto! Basil pesto is as easy to make and pureeing basil, garlic, pine-nuts, parmesan, olive oil and lemon juice in a food processor so there's really no excuse to not make your own in the summer! Once you have made your basil pesto it can be used on so many thing from pastas to sandwiches to soups, salads, etc (Take a look at the huge list of recipes to use your homemade fresh basil pesto in below the recipe!) Another great thing about basil pesto is that it freezes well so you can save the essence of summer for later.

Update 2015/08/21: Since I was making some pesto recently I decided to take the opportunity to update the photos!

Basil Pesto
The original photo:

Basil Pesto

Basil Pesto
Basil Pesto

Basil Pesto

Prep Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 10 minutes Servings: 16(~1 cup or 16 1 tablespoon servings)

A fresh, light and summery homemade basil pesto!


ingredients
  • 1 cup basil, packed
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup parmigiano-reggiano, grated
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
directions
  1. Place everything into a food processor and blend.
Nutrition Facts: Calories 37, Fat 3g (Saturated 0.7g, Trans 0), Cholesterol 1mg, Sodium 24mg, Carbs 0.4g (Fiber 0, Sugars 0), Protein 0.9g
Nutrition by: Nutritional facts powered by Edamam

28 comments:

Dawn said...

Basil and pine nuts are two of my favorite things. Mmmm....

The Girlie Blog said...

I love basil too. I am either going to try this one or the tomatoes. Scared to roast pine nuts for the first time, but I'll live.

Paul said...

Do you think a lot would be lost from omitting the pine nuts?

Do you think there is a good alternative to pine nuts?

Claudia said...

Spent Saturday "harvesting the basil." 16 cups of basil for the winter!

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

Could you use this as a sort of salad dressing? If I tossed it through some spinach leaves, tomato and bononcini cheese? Looks so fresh..

Daniel Bingham said...

Yum. Basil pesto. I grew up on that. Every summer my mom and our neighbor would buy out the farmer's market of basil one morning and the two of them would spend all day making basil pesto. We would freeze it in eight ounce containers and eat it all winter. Her recipe was always very straight forward. Fill the bottom 1/3rd of the food processor with pine nuts. Pour in enough olive oil to cover them. Add a few cloves of garlic. Then fill it with basil and blend down. Fill it again and blend it again. Repeat that until it reaches the liquid line. Very basil heavy pesto - delicious! I've been seeing a lot of recipes that use smaller amounts of both pine nuts and basil though. And toasted pine nuts sounds brilliant. I'll have to try this recipe and see how it compares :)

velva said...

Every summer, I stock my freezer with homemade basil pesto. This season I even took a leap and made a mint pesto.
Yours looks fabulous.

Delishhh said...

It was be pesto season and trying to clean our your basil from the garden. I just did a pesto the other day. Then i put it in my minestrone soup! It was fabulous!

Susie Bee on Maui said...

So many pesto recipes to pick from! I recently made pesto with basil and walnuts; pulled it out of the freezer this week and smothered chicken with it for baking. Made a tender, tasty meal!

Kevin said...

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany): Basil pesto works great as a salad dressing. Just add a bit more lemon juice and you are good to go. It also works well with a bit of mayo as a dressing for a potato salad.

Paul: You could easily replace the pine nuts with another nut. I often enjoy changing things u a little by changing the nut and thus the flavour profile.

Paul said...

I was wondering if sunflower seeds would be a replacement to nuts altogether.

Kevin said...

Paul: Using seeds in a pesto sounds good! I have not tried it yet but now I am going to have to now!

Lynn said...

I'm also wondering, Kevin, why it is recommended to add the cheese later if you're planning to freeze your pesto. We frequently freeze our store-bought pesto (with cheese) when we know we won't eat it up by the expiration date, and it has always been fine once thawed. All summer, as I've made pesto and stuck the extra in the freezer, I have left the cheese in. But I've read online a couple of places lately to omit cheese if freezing and add it later. Any thoughts as to why?

Kevin said...

Lynn: You certainly can freeze pesto with the cheese but I find that adding freshly grated after thawing just tastes better and you can get fresh cheese in the middle of winter. Having said that, I do sometimes freeze pesto with the cheese in it if I plan on using it in the near future as it is quicker that way. :)

Maki said...

Your pesto looks really tasty, I'll try the recipe... But I have to ask why are you putting in lemon juice? The original recipe doesn't have it. And you should also add pecorino (and parmigiano) cheese. Another tip: you don't have to grate the pine nuts, they taste better when fresh. This is the classic Pesto alla Genovese recipe :D

By the way I really love your dishes, you're a great chef and have a plenty of good ideas!

An Italian follower

Kevin said...

Maki: I like the bit of freshness that the splash of lemon adds, though it is completely optional. A bit of pecorino also works well in pesto. Thanks for the tips!

Natalie said...

Catching up on my unread posts in google reader and I've got about one billllion of your recipes open.

I think your photography is great. Something I need to perfect - suppose I have to get a good camera first.

Anyway, it's coming on to summer in Australia and I can't wait to harvest my first batch of basil from the garden. First thing I'll try is this basil recipe.

Where do you get all your ideas & how often do you cook in your closet? (I'm sure I could read your about page, but I just don't have the time what with all the catching up on your recipes!)

Kevin said...

Natalie: I cook almost every day and on the weekends it is particularly busy! I found that the most important thing for improving my photos was the lighting. I do not have good natural light so I needed a lamp.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I can't find a vegetarian 'parmigiano-reggiano'i don't think one exists :-/
is there anything i can substitute it with?
Sandra

Kevin Lynch said...

Sandra: I have not tried it but I have seen vegetarian parmesan online, using vegetable rennet instead of animal. (eg BelGioioso Cheese) Nutritional yeast would probably be easier to find and 1/4 cup ought to do as a replacement for the parmigiano-reggiano.

Nona said...

I made basil pesto once without cheese and found I prefer it that way, which is out of character for me as a cheese lover. Best thing about pesto is it is so versatile.

Maria said...

Pesto is a summer staple in our house. Love it!

Maggie Santiago said...

Can you omit Pine Nuts? I ask because I'm allergic to all kinds of nuts.

Kevin Lynch said...

Maggie Santiago: Yes, you can omit the pine nuts or replace them with other nuts or seeds like walnuts, etc.

kitblu said...

I haven't had enough basil for pesto for the past few years so I bought some. It includes lemon juice and I love it so this recipe suits me. When I have pasta with pesto I usually have a steamed veg on the side, which I flavour with olive oil and lemon juice.
If I was substituting for pine nuts, especially due to price, I would use sesame or sunflower seeds. I have used macadamia nuts to good effect as they are also very creamy but only slightly less expensive. Walnuts are a common substitution but I have not tried them.

Gerry @Foodness Gracious said...

So many amazing recipes come with basil pesto. This is fantastic Kevin!

Shawn @ I Wash You Dry said...

This recipe suits me, now I just have to get my little plant to produce enough basil! A bigger herb garden is on my to do list.

Reenie said...

I just made my first batch of Pesto..... I love it. I used Walnuts instead of Pinenuts. I put it on my salad; on my egg sandwich; eat it with Stacy's Naked Pita Chips. Sooo good. I'm going to try the Basil Grilled Shrimp. :)

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