Prep time10 minutes
Cooking time
Total time10 minutes


Serve this simple, verdant sauce at room temperature over pasta or spread on toasted bread for a quick and easy appetizer.


4 cups
basil, fresh
3 cloves
1/3 cup
pine nuts (or walnuts or sunflower seeds)
1/2 cup
parmesan cheese
1/2 cup
olive oil
salt and pepper


In a blender or food processor, combine half of the basil with all the other ingredients. Use a low speed and stop often to stir. Blend until smooth, gradually adding the remaining basil.

If using a mortar and pestle, first mash the garlic and salt, then add nuts and continue mashing. Add basil with a little olive oil and mash until a smooth paste is formed. Continue adding olive oil and mix to incorporate.

Taste and season as needed.


  • Squeeze in a teaspoon of lemon juice with the basil to help retain its vivid color.
  • Substitute parsley, arugula, or other greens for part of the basil measurement.
  • If you aren’t eating it right away, pesto stores well in the freezer. For convenience, freeze pesto in an ice cube tray. Once frozen solid, pop them out into a plastic bag and place back in the freezer. The small cubes are an easy portion size to thaw when you need them.