Store-bought pesto is always so boring and dull, nothing like a homemade fresh basil leaf pesto. Why not make your own, so you can play around with the ingredient amounts to perfect your pesto to your liking?
Table of Contents
- Basil Pesto
- Pine Nuts Vs. Walnuts Which One Should You Choose?
- Could You Make A Bigger Batch And Freeze Your Basil Pesto?
- How To Create A Simple Pasta Dish Using Your Basil Pesto
- Other Ways To Use Your Basil Pesto
- Pin this recipe to your SPREADS AND SAUCES RECIPE Board and Remember to FOLLOW ME ON PINTEREST!
- Basil Pesto Recipe
Some fresh, homemade basil pesto is one of those things that everyone needs to have at least once in their lives.
Despite how simple it is to make, basil pesto is usually only reserved for ordering in restaurants, or buying in those tiny little pots from the supermarkets.
However, as long as you don’t mind your kitchen smelling like cheese and herbs for the next few days, there is nothing stopping you from blitzing up your very own pesto, perfect for spreading on bread or mixing into some pasta.
Pine Nuts Vs. Walnuts Which One Should You Choose?
Basil pesto needs something crunchy and savory to make its unique flavor profile complete, and there are two main ways to achieve this: pine nuts or walnuts.
The choice of which one to use is totally up to you, as each provides its own unique flavor to your pesto.
For walnuts, they add a much stronger nutty flavor, making everything have their strangely crunchy and earthy nuttiness.
Pine nuts, however, have more of a clean, pine-forward flavor, and taste almost fresh and slightly herbal.
Choose whichever one you prefer, though keep in mind that nut allergies are surprisingly common, and most nut allergy sufferers are not allergic to pine nuts, so you might want to ask any guests that will eat this for their dietary preferences just in case.
Could You Make A Bigger Batch And Freeze Your Basil Pesto?
This recipe makes a pretty small batch of pesto, and you can expect it to last no more than about 4 days in the fridge.
However, there is nothing stopping you from making an even bigger batch and storing it in the freezer for later use.
While you could actually try and can your basil pesto for storage, most people probably aren’t going to want to go the route of dealing with an expensive canning machine.
Instead, to prepare your basil pesto for freezing, get it inside of a resealable, freezer-safe container, and make sure that it is filled all of the way to the top.
You want to try and minimize any air contact to your pesto, as the air will cause the pesto to lose both flavor and color.
A single sheet of plastic wrap pressed firmly onto the surface of the pesto will also help stop it from losing quality over time.
Once frozen, you can expect your basil pesto to stay taste for up to around 3 months, though it can last longer with a gradual decline in quality over time.
How To Create A Simple Pasta Dish Using Your Basil Pesto
While your simple basil pesto would be perfect spread over some crackers or a slice of toast, you could also mix it with some pasta to make a really simple, fresh-tasting pasta dish, perfect for a lunch or light dinner.
To make the best ratio of basil pesto pasta, combine about ½ cup of your basil pesto to around 6 ounces of pasta.
This will make a saucy, yet not liquid pasta, perfect for eating with a fork.
Feel free to add a bit more pesto for a stronger flavor, and if you want it more liquidy, add a little bit of the starchy pasta cooking water to help thin it out!
Other Ways To Use Your Basil Pesto
While spread on some crackers or used to make some pasta are the most obvious ways to use your pesto, there are plenty of other great recipes you could make with your pesto as well.
- As a Sauce On Chicken
Cook a chicken breast or chicken thigh and spread some pesto on it after serving to make a fresh, simple, and herbaceous topping for your chicken!
- As a Salad Dressing
Just like as a topping for some bread, this pesto goes great with salad leaves, making a really intense, bright, and almost fruity salad out of just a few simple ingredients.
- Over Vegetables
Similar to dressing a salad or a chicken breast, your basil pesto makes for a really great topping for a vegetable side. Roast some carrots, parsnips, and onions, and then pour over just a bit of this pesto as it comes out of the oven for a big hit of healthy flavor.
Looking for more delicious Italian-themed Sauce recipes? Try these out:
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- Prep Time
- 10 minutes
- 1 cup
- food processor
- Karlynn Johnston
- 1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves firmly packed, no stems
- 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese Romano can also be used
- 1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts
- 2 cloves fresh garlic
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- salt to taste if needed
- Place the basil, parsley, cheese, pine nuts, and garlic into a food processor or blender. Cover and process until a paste forms.
- With the machine on low, gradually add the olive oil until soft paste forms. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
- Refrigerate in a lidded container for up to 4 days.
- This is a smaller batch pesto as it only lasts 4 days in the fridge.
- For pasta, use about 1/2 cup pesto tossed with 6 ounces pasta
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.