A large white bowl of basil pesto garnished with baby basil leaves on a red & white cloth with fresh basil in the background

Basil Pesto

A simple and deliciously fresh combination of herbaceous basil, nuts, salty cheese and a hint of garlic blended with olive oil


Our kids named this the “Besto Pesto” because they think it’s, well, the best pesto!

Who am I to argue?

It’s a quick, simple version of Italian basil pesto that you can make yourself in minutes

And it really is the “besto”

What is pesto??

The word pesto means “pounded” in Italian. The most common pesto is made from fresh basil, garlic, olive oil, pine nuts, and cheese blended together into a thick paste

There are many jarred pestos available in the supermarket, but once you see how easy this is to whip up and once you taste how good this pesto is, you’ll never even consider buying store bought!

Start with 1/2 cup pecans, 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, a garlic clove and about 3 oz fresh basil ~ about 2 cups

You may ask why I use pecans instead of the traditional pignoli (pine) nuts…

Pignoli nuts are extremely expensive.  Tasty, but pricey.  So, I substitute with less expensive pecans, which also have a soft texture and work well in this pesto

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In a food processor, pulse the nuts, garlic clove & Parmesan cheese until finely blended

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Top with the fresh basil and, you guessed it, pulse some more

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This will form a thick paste.  It’s a good idea to scrape it down from the sides at this point before you add in the oil

With your food processor running on low, slowly add in a stream of good quality olive oil ~ about a 1/2 cup and a couple of tablespoons of crushed ice

A tip that my teenage daughter found on Instagram is to add in crushed ice to help retain the color of the basil while blending

Season to taste with kosher salt and black pepper

keep in mind the Parmesan cheese will also add some saltiness to the pesto

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Drizzle in an additional tablespoon or two of olive oil just until the pesto is the desired consistency

Try not to eat it by the spoonful, save some for your family

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And there you have it!  A simple and deliciously fresh tasting Basil Pesto!

Try this Basil Pesto in pasta dishes, as a spread on a crusty baguette or a dip for roasted veggies!

These are a few of our popular recipes using basil pesto – Grilled Portabella Mushroom Burger, Skirt Steak Crostini & Pesto Shrimp

Check out our other favorite pesto… Garlic Scape Pesto

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Enjoy!

Simply Sundays! ~ Basil Pesto

  • Servings: 1 1/2 cups pesto
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

1/2 cup pecans

1/2 cup of parmesan cheese

1 large garlic clove

3 oz fresh basil ~ about 2 cups

1/2 cup olive oil

Kosher salt & black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons crushed ice

Directions

In a food processor, pulse the nuts until finely blended; add in the Parmesan cheese and garlic clove; pulse until incorporated; top with the fresh basil and pulse some more

This will form a thick paste; scrape down the sides; with your food processor running on low, slowly add in a stream of good quality olive oil ~ about a 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons of crushed ice

Season with kosher salt & black pepper to taste; drizzle in an additional tablespoon or two of olive oil just until the pesto is the desired consistency

Tools used to make this recipe

Nutri Ninja Ninja Blender

© Simply Sundays 2018
All rights reserved

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