Summertime is all about the fresh foods in our house, especially when the weather is super hot. A summer favorite of mine is fresh basil pesto. This classic pesto in the food processor features lots of basil, fresh garlic, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese.
About This Classic Pesto in the Food Processor
The idea of making homemade pesto used to seem complicated to me, but it is actually super simple. With the help of a food processor and a few high-quality ingredients, you will have an amazing final product.
The ingredients for pesto are simple:
- lots of basil
- fresh garlic
- pine nuts (or walnuts)
- parmesan cheese
- olive oil
When it comes to herbs, fresh basil is my favorite! I like to buy mine at Trader Joe's but if you grow your own that would be great too! Though there are countless ways to use fresh basil, I love making homemade pesto. The purchased varieties just do not compare.
Yes, you may substitute walnuts for pine nuts because walnuts impart a similar flavor to pesto. Not all stores carry pine nuts, and walnuts are more affordable. If you want to enhance the nutty flavor, be sure to toast and cool the nuts before adding them.
I have not personally tried using a blender for this recipe, but I would recommend using the pulse setting to avoid creating a puree. You will also want to scrape the sides to ensure it mixes evenly.
My favorite is to mix the pesto with pasta, specifically cheese tortellini with sautéed peppers, onions, and chicken. If you want to make a creamy pasta dish, add a splash or two of heavy cream to the mix and top with lots of your favorite grated cheese right before serving! Pesto is also a great substitute for pizza sauce, sandwich spread, mix-in for hummus or mayo, or topping for chicken, salad, soup, or veggies!
Next time you’re hosting guests or just want a fun kitchen project, make your own pesto! The recipe follows. As always, please comment and leave a star rating below if you make this recipe.
- 2 cups fresh basil loosely packed
- 2 garlic cloves coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup pine nuts or walnuts
- ½ cup parmesan cheese shredded or shaved
- ½ cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a food processor, add the basil, garlic, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese.
- Pulse until the fresh basil is in small pieces. Pour in the olive oil and pulse until combined. Season with salt and pepper based on your liking.
- Pesto can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Leftovers may also be frozen.
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