Here’s the best basil pesto recipe, made the classic Italian way with basil, pine nuts, lemon and Parmesan!
- 1/2 cup raw unsalted pine nuts (or substitute cashews or walnuts)*
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 medium garlic cloves
- 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup olive oil, plus additional as needed
- In a small dry skillet, toast the nuts over medium high heat, stirring constantly, for about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the nuts to a bowl and allow them to cool slightly. (This step is optional, but brings out a more robust flavor in the nuts.)
- In food processor**, combine the nuts, cheese, and peeled garlic. Process until finely ground, 20 to 30 seconds.
- Add the basil, lemon juice and kosher salt. Turn on the food processor and gradually pour in the olive oil. Once combined, turn off the food processor. Blend in a bit more olive oil if desired, to achieve a looser texture. Stores for about 1 week in the refrigerator and several months frozen.
*Pine nuts are traditional, but can be expensive. We’ve tested both cashews and walnuts and they have great flavor. Since we often have these stocked in our pantry, we use these variations more often than pine nuts.
**You also can do the same method using a mortar and pestle, adding the basil leaves gradually and crushing them against the sides of the mortar.
- Category: Sauce
- Method: Blended
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: Basil Recipes, Basil Pesto