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Now that the weather is warming up, I imagine a ton of you guys are getting your gardens started, right? I got mine started, and of course I’m growing basil again this year! Basil is super easy to grow, incredibly prolific, and you can make pesto out of it!!!! So today I’m sharing my absolute favorite homemade pesto recipe with you, just in case you’ve got way more basil than you know what to do with a few months from now!
I love pesto because it’s easy to make and absolutely delicious!
Basil Pesto Recipe
In my opinion there’s pretty much nothing better than homemade basil pesto with fresh basil! The recipe below makes enough for 2-4 people, but if you need more, just double or triple it. If you’ve ever grown basil before, you know how crazy it grows sometimes. Last year I had soooo much of it that I ended up making this recipe in huge batches!
NOTE: I grew my basil organically and substituted organic ingredients in the recipe below, but it’s just as delicious if you want to make a non-organic version as well!
- 2 C loosely packed fresh basil leaves
- 1/3 C freshly grated cheese (Parmesan or Romano)
- 1/4 C pine nuts, toasted
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
These are the amounts I used for my pesto, but it’s a pretty forgiving recipe, so feel free to tweak it to your liking!
Start by toasting the pine nuts. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and pour out the pine nuts onto a cookie sheet. Spread them out and then stick them in the oven for 5-7 minutes, shaking the cookie sheet occasionally so they don’t burn. You’ll know they’re done when they turn slightly golden brown and start smelling delicious! (You can also toast the pine nuts in a frying pan over medium-high heat if you don’t want to use your oven.)
Next, grate the cheese. You can buy pre-shredded cheese, but if you can find a good quality block of Parmesan or Romano cheese and grate it yourself while the pine nuts are toasting, the flavor will be much stronger!
Pesto is usually made with Parmesan, but I used Romano this time around and it was totally delicious. It’s up to you which cheese you’d prefer!
Next, put the basil, pine nuts, cheese, and garlic into your food processor. Sprinkle with a good amount of salt and pepper (about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon each).
Process until everything is finely chopped.
Once it looks crumbly like this (kinda like wet corn meal), start the food processor back up and leave it running while you pour the olive oil in through the feed tube in a slow, steady stream. Keep processing until smooth, adding a bit more olive oil if necessary.
Pour some out over plain pasta, top with shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese if you have any left over, and enjoy!
If you make more than you’re going to eat in one sitting, just spoon the extra pesto into an ice cube tray and freeze it. It will keep for a long time, and this way you have individual serving sizes ready to thaw at a moment’s notice!
Are you growing a garden this year? Planning to have any basil? 🙂
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