Classic Basil Pesto
Make this classic basil pesto in under five minutes! The perfect way to add flavor to pasta, sandwiches, salads and pizza.
Servings: 8 portions
- 4 cups fresh basil leaves packed; stems removed; approx. 130 g; note 1
- ¼ cup pine nuts 38 g; note 2
- 1 garlic clove large
- 1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil 106 g
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese grated; 22 g
First blend- Combine basil, pine nuts, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until well combined and roughly chopped. See: blanching
Second blend- Add the lemon juice and olive oil, blending until a somewhat creamy mixture begins to form, about 30 seconds. If you blend for longer, the pesto will become a cremier dressing rather than the classic version.
Third blend- Add in parmesan cheese and pulse until well combined and desired consistency.
Taste the pesto and add more salt if needed. Serve right away or store in the fridge for 4-5 days.
If you want to preserve the bright green color, consider blanching your basil:
- sweet basil is recommended
- toasting recommended for best flavor; blanched almonds can work in place (though not 'classic')
- If you want a less creamy pesto, you can blend in half the olive oil and then mix the remaining in with a spoon. Blending the olive oil into the pesto creates a creamier mixture, so by doing half blended and half simply mixed in, the pesto won’t become very creamy.
- if you don't have a food processor, a high speed blender such as a vitamix can work as well.
- Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil.
- Carefully lower the basil into boiling water for only 15 seconds, then remove and place into a bowl of ice water for a minute until fully cooled.
- Gather the blanched basil and squeeze out all the liquid. Roughly chop so it’s easier to blend.
- Fridge- store in an air tight container for 4-5 days.
- Freezer- portion out into ice cube trays, then freeze until solid. Transfer to heavy-duty freezer bags or wrap loosely in parchment paper then store in an air tight container. Freeze for up to 6 months.