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Fresh Basil Pesto |The Soul Of Italy |

Fresh Basil Pesto is a wonderfully simple dish, and a godsend when you find you have too much basil in the garden.  It is early summer here in the tropics, and the basil plants have been in their glory. The only way to keep them in any semblance of control is to cut them back, liberally.  I hacked off a good two thirds of the plants and had a rather large pile of basil to use, so it is pesto time.

Early Summer Basil Harvest

Early Summer Basil Harvest

There is no need to overcomplicate pesto, it is a pure to taste sauce, made entirely in a food processor.  All of the ingredient quantities are flexible here. Each imparts an essence just dial them up and down to achieve the balance or imbalance you like.  Fresh Basil Pesto is essentially something leafy and green, some sort of nut, garlic, cheese and oil.  Traditionally basil and pine nuts.

You can put pesto on darn near anything and it will be delicious and fresh tasting.  Pasta is an obvious choice, but sandwiches, like montaditos, or a Caprese salad, focaccia, an old boot,  maybe not, but if any sauce had a chance…




Basil Pesto

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
By Rick Britt Serves: 8
Prep Time: 10

Spicy, creamy, fresh and green, this little sauce has it all!


  • 2 or so cups of basil leaves, or other combination green leafy, like spinach or arugula (This imparts the fresh flavor, the more you add the more it is dialed up)
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup of pine nuts (Delivers the nutty earthy flavor)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced (Spicy and sharp flavors)
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano grated, or other hard cheese like Asiago or Parmesan (Creamy rich full flavor)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (this emulsifies the sauce)
  • Salt and pepper to taste



Place Basil leaves and pine nuts in the large bowl of a food processor, and pulse a few times to reduce volume.


Add minced garlic, Parmigiano-Reggiano and 1 tablespoon of olive oil, run on low until it is uniform in shape, 1-2 minutes.


Slowly pour remaining oil into the running food processor in a steady thin stream, run for 30 seconds more after complete.


Season to taste.


Enjoy, or make ahead pesto will keep in the fridge in a sealed container for several days.


  • 240 Calories
  • 3g Carbohydrates
  • 10mg Cholesterol
  • 24g Fat
  • 1g Fiber
  • 4g Protein
  • 3.5g Saturated fat

I recommend, make pesto, eat pesto, and enjoy pesto.

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