Super Easy Homemade Basil Pesto

by zesty on March 10, 2009 · 32 comments

Homemade Basil Pesto

Happy Tuesday!  I am somewhat excited as I get to share with you a super simple homemade Pesto recipe that you have to try!  Usually I find myself focusing on one or two foods that I find in the grocery store that either happen to look great or on sale.  I then try to wrap my brain around ways to use those ingredients to make 2 or 3 dishes until the ingredient is gone.

Just last night I found some great looking basil which is a perfect excuse to use my Cusinart Food Processor.  I am a big fan, as you may already know, of using all the food in the fridge and trying to minimize waste as much as possible.  Although, I have been known to toss some spoiled food out at times but it really “ROTS” me.


I have been meaning to share this versatile basil pesto recipe with you for some time now.  As you may know, my favorite herb is “BASIL” – I absolutely love it.  This basil pesto is  a treat whether you use it as a sandwich spread, pizza sauce, on top of  pasta or even smear it on your favorite meat, chicken or fish.  You will be pleasantly surprised with the flavor it packs.

The recipe below assumes you have a food processor.


  • 1 oz. Parmesan cheese ( cut into 1/2 inch pieces )
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. lightly toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 tsp. salt


  1. With the machine running, drop the cheese down the feed tube and chop about 10 seconds.  Remove and reserve.
  2. basil_pesto_toasted_nuts




  3. Chop Garlic, then add basil and pulse about 20 times ( Scrape down sides).
  4. basil_pesto_chopped_garlic


  5. With the machine running, drizzle Olive Oil down the tube and process until mixed. (Scrape down Sides)
  6. Add pine nuts, reserved cheese and salt and pulse until nuts are chopped.
  7. Let sit and store in a jar
  8. basil_pesto_final

  9. ENJOY!

Zesty Tip: I know for me it is sometimes hard to get fresh basil this time of year so when I find a really great crop I tend to buy a lot of it and freeze it. You can see a great set of instructions over at Kayln’s kitchen with more details on how to do this.

I look forward to sharing with you in the near future a few different ways I like to use basil pesto. Stay tuned and by all means you know I want to hear about your favorite ways to use basil pesto.  Have a great day and keep smiling.

Take care


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