Classic Pesto

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Normally I’m a planner. I have calendars and lists and notebooks, all organized by topic and order of importance. That’s not to say I’m always on top of stuff or that I don’t procrastinate, lol…but even if I’m not on top of something, I usually know what it is that I’m procrastinating.

That carries over into blogging because I like to plan out my posts a bit in advance…and this pesto was not on the agenda.

My mom called me last weekend saying that we were about to get out first frost so she was harvesting herbs – did I want any? (No need for that question – it’s like asking a kid if they want summer vacation!) I happily took the herbs and decided to make a classic pesto with the lovely basil, and I wanted to share the recipe ASAP in case anyone else finds themselves in the same boat  trying to use a bunch of basil!
Basil keeps well frozen so I’m planning to enjoy it in colder months ahead. Here are a few ideas on how to use it:

  • Pasta sauce
  • Pizza sauce
  • Sandwich condiment
  • Sauce for chicken or fish
  • Spread for crackers or crostini
  • Mixed with Greek yogurt or sour cream as a dip
  • Soup topping
  • Salad dressing

Classic Pesto

Yields about 1 1/2 cups

3 large cloves garlic, peeled

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

4 cups (about 4 oz) loosely packed basil leaves (no stems), rinsed and patted dry

4 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted in a dry skillet and cooled

1 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil

2 oz freshly grated Parmesan cheese (I like to finely grate mine on a microplane)

Add the garlic and salt to a food processor and pulse until chopped. Add the basil and pine nuts and pulse a few times until coarsely chopped, then stream in the oil with the motor running, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary.

If using immediately, transfer to a bowl and stir in the cheese.

If freezing, wait to add the cheese until after thawing.

NOTE: I find that once pesto is thawed, it is best used the same day.

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  1. says

    I just did this last week, I cannot bear to lose my fresh basil!

    I freeze mine in ice cube trays and then transfer those basil cubes to another package for smaller portions :)

  2. says

    Adore pesto, this looks like a lovely recipe. Nice to have homemade pesto readily available at home, as after a long day at work – it’s great to be able to cook some veg and a bit of pasta and eat it with the pesto sauce, YUM

  3. says

    I love pesto! And adore mixing a bit in with vegetables and chicken or just vegetables! I actually made a pesto potato salad a while back that was fabulous. Lucky you to get the extra herbs!

  4. Eha says

    The clever part of me has always loved pesto and made heaps thru’ the years – the stupid part did not realize it could be frozen :) ! Stupid part > begone !!

  5. says

    I can’t tell you how happy I am everytime I see your post updates in the mail. You are one of my favourite blogs; your pictures are nice, your blog layout is simplistic but very pretty that way, and you have recipes that are great!!! I’m a teen Sydney foodblogger, and I really admire your blog and your creations :)

    Thanks again :)

    • says

      Tina, Thank you so much for your sweet comment, I am so flattered!! That truly means the world to me.

      You are pretty incredible — it is amazing that you are a teen blogger! Keep with it and I think you’ll be amazed at where blogging takes you.

      Wishing you all the best,

      Faith xo

  6. says

    Lovely photos! I’ve never been a big pesto fan but I did enjoy it when added to hummus. hat may be because I love hummus though-lol! I made some basil pesto in 2010 and put it in our spare fridge in the garage and it got lost in the depths. I found it recently and it had turned black but when I opened it, it still smells really good! So I haven’t thrown it away yet…throwing away food is hard for me unless it’s blatantly foul. Dare me to try it? ;)

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