Fresh Basil Pesto

This basic pesto recipe comes from Tip: you can substitute some of the basil for other leafy herbs like cilantro, parsley, and mint.

Fresh Basil Pesto


  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves packed
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Combine the basil and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse a few times. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic and pulse a few times more.

  2. Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Recipe Notes

Makes 1 cup. Serve with pasta, or over baked potatoes, or spread over toasted baguette slices. Store in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to one week, or in the freezer for no longer than a year.