There is nothing like fresh basil pesto to liven up a simple meal! Whether you toss with pasta or potatoes, use in grilled cheese sandwiches or spread on salmon or a pizza fresh beats the jar every time!
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Growing your own in a raised bed herb garden is a great way to go, but if that isn’t going to work for you I find that buying a basil plant is the most economical way to use basil. I keep one or two plants on my porch or counter and pick leaves as I need them. A plant usually lasts me a month and costs $2.99 at Trader Joe’s whereas an already picked bunch costs $4.99 and only stays good a few days.
How to Make Pesto:
Always mince fresh garlic cloves in processor first, then add other ingredients. Give all ingredients a whirl and in a minute, you have fresh basil pesto!
The Recipe: Basil Pesto
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves packed
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 3 medium sized garlic cloves peeled (this is how I peel mine!)
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ¼ cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese skip if you live dairy free
Pulse garlic in food processor. Add basil leaves, pine nuts and parmesan. Puree in processor, slowly adding olive oil till desired consistency is achieved. Add a generous pinch of sea salt and a few turns of fresh pepper, scrape down sides of processor and process again adding more olive oil if necessary. To save extra pesto, just place in a small dish, drizzle with olive oil to prevent oxidation and cover with lid or plastic. Keep in fridge for up to 5 days. This makes enough pesto for 16oz of any pasta you choose.
More recipes using fresh basil:
…or my crispy Pesto Salmon with Greens and Crispy Parmesan Bread.
For more amazing recipes check out my cookbooks! They are available in hardcover and ebook here.
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