Classic Basil Pesto is full of simple ingredients blended into a concentrated flavor that livens up any dish! Fresh basil with toasted garlic and pine nuts along with fresh parsley to intensify the vibrant green color of the pesto!
I have been guilty of using store-bought pesto for years. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with that, and there are a few brands that make delicious pestos. However, nothing beats fresh homemade pesto!
There are few tricks to take pesto over the top.
- Toasting the garlic and pine nuts make all of the difference!
- Adding just a little fresh flat leaf parsley gives pesto an even brighter and fresher tasting flavor!
- Use a good quality extra-virgin olive oil.
- Last, but not least, use freshly grated parmesan cheese; save the pre-grated parmesan cheese for another recipe!
You can use pesto as a simple sauce over your favorite pasta, season steamed veggies, added to a sandwich, as a pizza sauce, etc. The options are limitless!
Classic Basil Pesto
- 3 garlic large cloves
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves packed
- 2 T fresh flat-leaf Italianparsley
- 7 T good quality extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- salt & pepper to taste
- In a small skillet over medium heat, add the unpeeled garlic cloves. Toast the garlic for about 7 minutes, tossing occasionally, or until the color of the garlic cloves slightly deepens. Set the garlic cloves aside to cool. Once cooled, peel the skin from the cloves.
- In the same small skillet over medium heat, add the pine nuts. Toast the pine nuts, tossing often, for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until the nuts have turned golden. Be careful, pine nuts go from toasted to burnt quickly. Set nuts aside to cool. (Do not leave in the skillet, or they will continue to brown.)
- In a food processor, add the toasted (peeled) garlic cloves, toasted pine nuts, basil, and parsley. Pulse until smooth, scraping down sides as needed.
- Slowly add the olive oil until incorporated, scraping down sides as needed.
- Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in the parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
- Store in refrigerator up to 3 days in an airtight container with a thin layer of olive oil on top of the pesto or plastic wrap placed on the surface of the pesto.
- Alternatively, pesto can be frozen for up to 3 months.