Classic Basil Pesto

Classic Basil Pesto

Looking for a fresh last-minute condiment for pasta? This rich and creamy classic basil pesto takes minutes to prepare and requires only 3 ingredients-fresh basil leaves, pine nuts, and extra virgin olive oil.

I am infatuated with pesto. It’s a constant in my recipe rotation and you can almost always find a stash stored in the freezer. Everyone knows the dinnertime rush. I’d like to pretend that I have always have the inspiration and motivation to prepare an interesting, made-from-scratch dinner for the family, but that’s not the case. Life is busy-and weeknights are often way too stressful to spend time and effort in the kitchen. And that is why this pesto is a must-have in your fridge or freezer. Homemade basil pesto is unbelievably easy to make and it stores well, meaning it is the perfect condiment for a quick pasta dinner for the family.

Classic Basil Pesto

While we visiting our family in Sardinia, Italy during the summer we have the luxury of having fresh, homegrown produce at our fingertips, including basil. If you grow your own basil, you probably know that you often end up with so much basil all at once that you don’t know what to do with it. Making pesto is probably your best choice in that case. You can make a big batch and freeze any leftovers. Ice cube trays are a good way to freeze pesto. Simply pour the pesto into the small cubes and freeze. You can also remove the pesto cubes from the ice cube tray once frozen and store in a freezer bag to reduce space.

Classic Basil Pesto

Here are ways to incorporate pesto into meals;

  • Add to tomato sauce
  • Spread over grilled veggies
  • Add to meatballs
  • Spread on a sandwich or flatbread
  • Mix with quinoa, rice or even in frittatas
  • Add as a garnish for soup
  • Mix into salad dressing
  • Add to baked bread or savoury muffins, scones, etc.
  • Smear on bruschetta
  • Toss with roasted potatoes or sweet potatoes

Pesto lends to a variety of interpretations; replace basil with kale or spinach, and the pine nuts with roasted walnuts or pumpkin seeds.

Looking for more pesto-inspired recipes? Try these:

Shrimp Sweet Pea Pesto Risotto
Pesto Gnocchi N’ Cheese
Pesto Prosciutto Mozzarella Quinoa Arancini
Roasted Veggie Pesto Pasta
Pesto Caprese Quinoa Salad

If you try this recipe (and love it!) be sure to snap a pic and tag me onInstagram with #bitesforfoodies so I can see your creation!

Classic Basil Pesto

2014-03-14
: 1/2 cup
: 5 min

Looking for a fresh last-minute condiment for pasta? This rich and creamy classic basil pesto takes minutes to prepare and requires only 3 ingredients-fresh basil leaves, pine nuts, and extra virgin olive oil. I am infatuated with pesto. It’s a constant in my recipe rotation and you can almost always find a stash stored in the freezer. …

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Classic Basil Pesto
5
5
1
33
Ingredients
    2 cups fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 1/4 cup - 1/3 cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbs. grated Parmesan (optional)
  • sea salt for taste
Directions

This recipes calls for a small food processor. You could also combine the ingredients in a mortar and pestle.

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Toast pine nuts in small frying pan on medium heat for 2-3 minutes (stirring them constantly) or until slightly browned.

Classic Basil Pesto

In the meantime, remove the stems of the basil leaves and add to the food processor. Add the pine nuts and blend for about 1 minute to grind the pine nuts completely. Slowly drizzle the olive oil (into the spout of the lid of the food processor) while continuously blending, until you get the desired consistency. I always make my pesto on the thicker side since I always add some pasta cooking water during the cooking process.

Classic Basil Pesto

Once you have the desired consistency, add the grated Parmesan cheese and sea salt then blend again for a few seconds to combine.

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