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Basil Pesto

So a while back I gave you a recipe for spinach pesto which is definitely one of my go-to sauces. But, the other day I was at the market and got a whiff of the fresh basil and I’m sorry, I just couldn’t resist. Spring has been here, at least officially, for about a week and yet we’ve been suffering temperatures in the 30s and I’m jonesing for something bright and verdent that seems especially springy. So, I caved in and bought the basil and knew that this is where it would lead.

Pesto, which is an uncooked sauce, is incredibly versatile and once you’ve mashed it all up can stay good in the fridge for a week or two. This gives it not only a decent “shelf” life, but it also makes it incredibly easy to prepare a meal on the fly. If the jar of pesto is in the fridge then you can boil up some pasta, toss a salad, or broil some chicken and boom, your sauce/dressing is done for you because it doesn’t need to be cooked. Throw it on pasta, mix it into a salad dressing (tune in tomorrow for that recipe), or stir it into risotto at the very end for a super special dish.

I used to shy away from making pesto at home because until I got married (and got to register for gifts) I didn’t have a food processor and making pesto in a blender or in one of those tiny blender gadgets can be a time consuming and frustrating experience. But with a food processor it takes about 30 seconds to make a perfect pesto.


Basil Pesto


  • 2.5 oz basil leaves
  • 1 small to medium clove garlic
  • ΒΌ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp toasted pine nuts


  1. Put the basil into the work bowl of a food processor and pulse to mince.
  2. One by one add the rest of the ingredients and pulse to combine.
  3. Transfer the sauce to a refrigerator dish and keep on hand for up to 2 weeks.

Cooking time (duration): 5

Diet type: Vegetarian

Meal type: dinner

Culinary tradition: Italian