How to: Classic Basil Pesto

basil pesto

You just may have some basil hanging on in the garden and in that case, you should definitely use it up before it’s too late. I snipped all my basil plants and made some lovely pesto. I also like to make herb patties, but I was craving pesto big time.

I made a big batch and ate it with pasta and canned diced tomatoes each day for lunch last week. Talk about easy, healthy, and tasty. You can do so much with pesto. Pasta is the obvious companion, but it’s great on bread, chicken, steak, tofu, or fish. I also love to saute tempeh in olive oil and add pesto at the end; I eat that over salad or wild rice.

For my vegans, simply omit the cheese. I also like to mix up the nuts I use and often switch out the pine nuts for walnuts, which are my favorite. This is the basic recipe but you can get pretty creative with pesto.

How to: Classic Basil Pesto
Recipe Type: Sauce
Author: Q&DK
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 5 mins
Total time: 10 mins
  • 2 cups fresh packed basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan, Romano, or Pecorino cheese
  • 2/3 cups olive oil
  • S/P
  1. Combine the basil, garlic, pine nuts, and cheese in a food processor or blender. Pulse until coarsely chopped. Add the olive oil and process until incorporated and smooth. Taste and season with S/P as needed.
  2. Stays about 2 weeks sealed in the fridge and freezes for up to 3 months.
  3. Makes about 1 and 1/2 cups.