Basil Pesto

My mom Noni has been making homemade basil pesto for as long as I can remember. This sauce is rich in flavor and color and it can be used in any variety of ways – toss the pesto with linguine noodles for a flavorful pasta dish, spoon it over grilled chicken and fish, or add one tablespoon of the pesto to two tablespoons of mayonnaise for a delicious sandwich spread.


Basil Pesto

Yield: 1 cup

Prep Time: 25 min

Cook Time: 5 min


2½ cups of basil leaves, washed and dried thoroughly
2 Tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese
3 cloves of garlic
2 Tablespoons of pine nuts
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of black pepper


Toast the pine nuts by placing them on a baking sheet and putting them in a toaster oven until they are golden brown (they toast quickly so make sure to watch them!).

Remove the pine nuts and set them aside to cool.

In a food processor or blender, combine the fresh basil leaves, Parmesan cheese, garlic cloves, cooled pine nuts and kosher salt.

Pulse the ingredients together until well blended.

Drizzle in the olive oil while the food processor or blender is still running (this will help to thin the pesto).

Season with cracked black pepper and serve.

Helpful Hint: Store the prepared pesto in an air-tight container with plastic wrap touching the sauce. Or for longer-term storage, pour the pesto into an ice cube tray and freeze it for individual uses.



  1. 2

    laurel says

    Delicious. Thank you for the recipe. I made it tonight and it was easy and very tasty. I left out the cheese to make it vegan, and I was surprised that I didn’t miss it. A keeper!

    • Kelly replied: — July 16th, 2011 @ 2:04 am

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Laurel! It’s great to know that the flavor is still maintained when skipping on the cheese. I’m not sure how you used it, but I love it tossed with linguine or drizzled over crostini.


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