This simple Basil Pesto recipe has blanched (or fresh) basil leaves, Parmesan cheese, almonds (or Pine nuts), extra virgin olive oil, optional lemon juice, fresh garlic, Kosher salt, and pepper. Enjoy it on toast, pasta, rice, or in a dressing for the salad!
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
Hi Everyone, this recipe is ALL about using up all that basil that is busting out of your kitchen garden. Make a double batch of this Basil Pesto if you need to and give a jar to your friends/family!
Honestly, I have to stop myself from eating spoonfuls of this stuff, it’s just so good, more basil pesto, please!
Basil Pesto is one of the flavors that I most associate with Summer food recipes. It’s a flexible recipe that can help you dress up many dishes, making it an ideal partner for our weekly family meal prep.
This Basil Pesto is one of several pesto recipes that I make during Summer which I keep in the fridge to use throughout the week.
Blanching the leaves before putting it in to food processor keeps the pesto green, so it doesn’t oxidize. It also mutes the minty taste so the pesto isn’t overwhelmingly herby.
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The Use of Garlic in Basil Pesto
I use fresh garlic from my CSA when I make this during the Summer months. Fresh garlic is stronger and more vibrant in flavor – so I just use 1 clove. If you use regular garlic from the grocery store, you can use up to 2 cloves per batch depending on the amount of “bite” you want your Basil Pesto to have.
Our CSA Seasonal Produce
If you are interested in seeing what we get in our bi-weekly CSA Share Boxes, you can check out our recent posts:
- Organic CSA Box Week 1
- Organic CSA Share Box Week 2
- Organic CSA Share Box Week 3
- Organic CSA Share Box Week 4
- Organic CSA Share Box Week 5
Here are some recipe process photos:
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If you make this Basil Pesto recipe and like it, please give it a rating in the recipe card below and let us know in the comments. Thank you for reading and following along!
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- 2-4 ounces (2-4 cups) basil leaves *depending on how thick you want it
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (or the same amount regular olive oil)
- 1/3 cup pine nuts (or substitute the same amount almonds or almond flour)
- 1-2 fresh garlic cloves, peeled, minced
- a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, optional
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, amount to taste (I would do 1/4 teaspoon to start and then taste it and adjust)
- 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, amount to taste
- To Blanche The Basil: Bring a medium-large pot to boil with salted water (about 1 teaspoon kosher salt). When it's boiling, add the basil and cook 1 minute or less (it just needs to be wilted). Remove and put on a plate covered in paper towels. Press the blanched basil to remove all excess water. *See notes on blanching.
- To Make the Basil Pesto: In a food processor, add all the ingredients and pulse several times until the desired texture is reached. You can also just leave it on for 30 seconds, and check it. You might need to scrape down the sides to ensure all the ingredients are evenly blended. Add more of certain ingredients to adjust to your taste. Serve right away or store in a lidded mason jar in the refrigerator (use within 1-2 days). Enjoy with pasta, bread or whatever you would like it with!
- Storage: store in a lidded mason jar in the refrigerator (use within 1-2 days)
- Blanching vs. Not Blanching the Basil: I always Blanche the basil (make sure to remove all stems or else it will be too strong!) because it makes the basil more subtle and less "herb-y". It also reduces the chance of the leaves becoming oxidized (turning brown); the basil pesto will look more light green if you make it with blanched basil greens.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 247Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 202mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 4g
Please note that the Calculated Nutrition is an estimate at best.