No-fail recipe for basil pesto

Basil and pine nuts

It’s mid-August and, although the rest of the garden is looking a bit droopy and sad, the basil is in full swing. Basil doesn’t store well as a fresh herb for more than a day or two, so my go-to for too much basil is to make and freeze batches of pesto. Here’s my recipe for basil pesto for those of you who are lucky to have “too much” basil from the garden:


No-fail recipe for basil pesto


3 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/4 to 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Olive oil — Add more if you like a thinner pesto.
3 tablespoons pine nuts  — If you can’t find pine nuts, I recommend pistachios or walnuts as an acceptable substitute.
2-3 cloves of garlic, adjust to taste


Combine the ingredients above and blend in a food processor until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl halfway through the process.


  • Add a squirt of lemon juice to brighten up the sauce.
  • After blending, add a few tablespoons of chopped roasted red pepper to add color and flavor.

In the freezer

  • Pesto freezes amazingly well. Freeze your portioned pesto in Ziploc bags for easy thawing. I double-bag the batches in a larger freezer bag to protect them from freezer burn.

Basil and pine nuts

Do you have other variations on pesto? If so, add them in the comments to this post.


Happy eating!



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