Classic Basil Pesto

makes 2-1/2 cups

Pesto has many uses. It is easy to make and freeze to have ready to enhance foods for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.


  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2/3 cup pine nuts (walnuts may be substituted) 
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil


In a food processor, finely chop the garlic. Add basil leaves and chop until fine. Add cheese, pine nuts, salt, and pepper; pulse until the consistency of a coarse paste. With the food processor running, slowly pour olive oil through the feed tube and continue mixing until the oil is completely combined with paste. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to one week. Pesto freezes well. Freeze in ice cube trays, and then store frozen pesto cubes in plastic freezer bags in freezer for up to 6 months. Pesto may also be frozen in small jars or plastic containers for up to 9-12 months.