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Fresh Basil Pesto

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  • 3 cups fresh basil leaves, removed from stems
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 23 cloves of garlic
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese (try to use high quality fresh cheese rather than the stuff in the shaker)
  • ¼ tsp salt + some on hand to adjust taste
  • pinch of ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • Splash of lemon juice (I use about ½ a lemon)


  1. Into a food processor place all ingredients except for the oil.
  2. Pulse ingredients on low until everything is starting to get the proper consistency.
  3. Now, slowly pour in the olive oil. It’s important that this is down slowly since olive oil can become bitter and emulsify if processed too quickly.
  4. Once processed remove from the processor and put into a storage container such as a jar.
  5. Add a splash of lemon juice and stir.
  6. Do a taste test and add a little more salt and pepper if needed.
  7. This should keep in the fridge for about a week but you can also put it in the freezer and it should be good for a couple months.


Make sure that you taste test your pesto. Sometimes depending on the leaves used there can be a slight bitter taste. Also if olive oil is processed too vigorously it can also lend to a slight bitterness. You can fix this by adding a bit more salt and lemon juice.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Method: Food Processor
  • Cuisine: Italian