Basil pesto

By all means, you can buy your pestos from any store selling them, but wouldn’t it be fun to make it yourself for a change? Classic pesto with basil leaves, garlic, olive oil, pine seeds and Parmesan cheese is very simply to make and it remains fresh and edible for several days when stored in fridge.

Pesto is always made to taste, so you do not have to follow my recipe step by step. You can use walnuts instead of pine seeds and there is no need to use just Parmesan cheese – don’t be afraid to try substituting some of the ingredients.

Basil is a very aromatic herb which means that a little goes a long way. I have also seen a recipe, which recommended mellowing the pesto out a bit by replacing half of the basil with fresh baby spinach leaves. Color still stays green and the flavor of basil still comes through. I haven’t tested yet, but perhaps I will…

I do not use olive oil, because of its somewhat bitter taste in any kind of raw salads or pestos. My first basil pesto was a complete failure simply because I used olive oil. So I rather use only vegetable oil and then properly enjoy my pestos.

Even a small amount of basil was somewhat difficult to mince in a mortar, so I turned to my hand blender. Choose a bowl just fitting for the mixer – if the bowl is too big all the pesto will be everywhere but in the bowl.

You can use pine nuts as they are but they will taste better by roasting them in butter first. They are ready when golden brown in color.

PORTION: 2 persons
TIME TO MAKE: about 20 minutes


  • about 30 g fresh basil (= one whole rhizome of basil)
  • 3 tablespoons of crushed Parmesan
  • 25 g pine nuts
  • 1 big garlic clove
  • 4-6 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • some lemon juice
  • salt, black pepper (to your taste)

Put all the ingredients (except oil) in a bowl, basil leaves cut and garlic clove already minced. Blend them until you have a very fine mixture. Add some lemon, oil and just a pinch of salt and black pepper, toss well.

Tags: basil pesto pestos Italian cuisine

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