Classic Basil Pesto


Basil pesto is a versatile classic.  It’s also a great way to use up all the basil growing in my garden.  Every year, we plant extra basil plants for the sole purpose of making loads of pesto to have for the fall and winter.  In a few months, I’ll open up the freezer bag and get a whiff of fresh basil pureed with cheese and pine nuts. Nothing could be more heartening in the dead of winter when you’re craving warmer weather.


  • 4 cups lightly packed Basil
  • 2/3 cup EVOO
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan (shredded)
  • 1/4 cup Pine Nuts
  • 1 large clove Garlic (roughly chopped)
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
  • Optional: zest of one Lemon

Here’s what I did:

First, wash and de-stem the basil.  Then, measure out the rest of your ingredients.


Add the basil to a food processor or blender, then add the parmesan, pine nuts, garlic, kosher salt and lemon zest (if using).


Start the food processor and slowly add in the basil.  Puree the mixture.  Use on pasta, pizza, chicken or vegetables!

A few notes, FYI:

Basil pesto will keep in the refrigerator for a day or two if tightly covered – use a jar or a freezer bag for easy access when you’re ready to use it.

If you have lots of extra basil like me, make two or three batches every time you break out the food processor for this recipe.  Use one batch now and freeze the rest to enjoy this fall and winter.  To freeze, pour into a zip lock freezer bag then wrap in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.  Write the date on the outside so you know when it was made.  Add a little pasta cooking water to thin the mixture out when you thaw it.


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