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Basil Pesto

Basil Pesto


  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • 2-4¬†cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 cup¬†pine nuts or walnuts
  • 1/3 - 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 - 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan or other hard cheese


Rinse basil, discard big central stems, and pat dry. Crush garlic with your preferred method. Lightly toast pine nuts or walnuts in a dry skillet or on a baking sheet in an oven at 350 for 5-10 minutes. (With either method, be sure to move the nuts around often - they burn easily. They're done when the outside is brown, not black, and they taste good!)

Combine basil, salt, garlic, nuts and about 1/4 cup of the oil in a food processor or blender, or smush together by hand. Add the rest of the oil gradually as the smushing/processing continues. Store in the fridge or freeze!

Serve with pasta, over potatoes or cauliflower, as a sandwich spread, pretty much anywhere you'd like!

Adapted from an older edition of Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything

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