Classic and Fresh: Basil Pesto Recipe

by Alice Currah on July 20, 2009. Updated April 9, 2011


Today I went to the farmers market and bought 1 bunch of basil for $2. Of course I knew I would be making fresh garlic and basil pesto to use for a variety of dishes. What I love about pesto is its versatility. You can use it as a sauce on pizza, mix it with cream sauce, toss it with pasta, or on top of chicken and even on salmon.

Although you can buy basil in a jar at your local supermarket, nothing can compare to the taste and color of homemade pesto made from fresh basil and garlic. Anyway you use it, it is a staple recipe to have in your kitchen. Enjoy!

Classic and Fresh: Basil Pesto Recipe
Recipe type: Condiment
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Easy pesto recipe made with garlic, basil, olive oil, and Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 cups of fresh basil, packed
  • 3 cloves of garlic (more of less depending on how spicy you like it)
  • ¼ cup of pine nuts
  • ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil *canola oil can be substituted
  • ½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • A pinch of salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a food processor, pulsate basil, pine nuts, garlic, and Parmesan cheese until everything is mixed in with each other. Slowly add extra virgin olive oil and pulsate again until everything is fully combined and incorporated. Season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

*Looking for a Cilantro Recipe? Click here.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy I. July 20, 2009 at 2:42 am

That bright green is just gorgeous! I have a pesto recipe in the blog queue for this week too. There’s nothing like summer produce!


Hummingbird Appetite July 20, 2009 at 8:12 am

Pesto is so easy to make. I made it the other day. I agree it has great versility.


Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction July 20, 2009 at 9:04 am

What a beautiful picture! I love the bright green color of the pesto. I need to make some pesto with the basil from my garden… I am not usually a big fan of pesto, but I think I might like it more if it is fresh/homemade. Yours looks wonderful.


zoe July 20, 2009 at 9:07 am

I have some extra basil I need to use up, this will be perfect!


Nutmeg Nanny July 20, 2009 at 10:33 am

I love pesto and I love how vibrant your pictures looks. I need some serious help in the photography department. I would love for my pictures to turn out as beautiful as yours.


jenn July 20, 2009 at 1:59 pm

Mmmm…pesto. Can’t live without it. I love basil. Lovely Photo.


justcooknyc July 20, 2009 at 10:22 pm

buying store-bought pesto should be a crime


Chris July 24, 2009 at 5:18 pm

Nice pesto. Thanks for the reminder, I have some pine nuts leftover and our basil in the garden is growing phenomenally this year!

“Honey? Get the food processor out!”


Kelsey July 29, 2009 at 8:18 pm

This looks delicious! I love pesto and Naptime Chef it all the time! ;)


Wizzythestick August 4, 2009 at 8:33 pm

This is the first year that I have grown my own Basil and I am having fun with it in the kitchen. Thank you for yet another way I can use it.


anthony August 16, 2010 at 11:20 pm

Same here, first year basil grower. I have so much extra basil and now I plan to make a lot of basil. Thanks for the receipe.


Corinna June 9, 2011 at 9:29 pm

I usually toast the pine nuts for a richer flavor. Yum!


Jaimee August 21, 2012 at 10:44 am

Looks delish! I have SO much basil in the garden…going to make lots. How will this freeze??


Annette June 14, 2013 at 7:11 pm

Basil – there is so much you can do with it. I bought a Basil plant this year, so I would have some on hand at all times. Your idea is excellent.


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