Homemade Basil Pesto is one of my favorite sauces to make and it’s SO easy! It has been around for hundreds of years and originally was pounded using a mortar and pestle. I don’t know about you, but I am all about using modern kitchen appliances to speed things up so I use a blender or food processor! I love using a mini-food processor for small batches.
I know that the grocery store sells many varieties of basil pesto and I have tried many, however, nothing comes close to fresh and delicious homemade pesto! I have tried many variations and this one I am sharing is my favorite! I actually use a little spinach to add some vitamins to the pesto. I think it tastes great but you can just use basil. I personally like to grow my own basil as it can be quite expensive in the store. It is SO easy to grow and grows pretty fast. Also, I prefer pine nuts in my pesto, however, they are expensive so walnuts, cashews, or almonds would work.
Tips to make the best Pesto
- Use good quality Olive Oil (I like California Olive Ranch) and fresh parmesan cheese
- Toast the nuts in skillet or oven
Favorite Use of Pesto
- panini or sandwich
- on roasted or grilled veggies
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1.5 cups fresh basil (roughly chopped or torn)
1 cup of fresh Spinach (roughly chopped or torn)
1/2 cup pine nuts or walnuts toasted(*optional)
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- *Optional-Toast the nuts in a skillet over medium heat and stir continuously until lightly toasted. Be careful not to burn. Cool off the heat for about 5 min
- In a blender or food processor, combine the basil, spinach, nuts, garlic, parmesan, salt, and pepper.
- With the machine running, drizzle olive oil in and continue until mixed. If needed, stop the machine and use a spatula to scrape down the sides. Mix until you have the desired consistency. If you want it thinner, you can add a little water or more olive oil.
- Taste and add any ingredients as needed.
You can store any leftover pesto in a tight container or jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over the top when storing so it doesn’t turn brown.
If you want to freeze, use an ice cube tray or small Ziploc freezer bag and freeze for 1-3 months.
If you don’t want to use the Spinach, just use extra basil!