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  • Writer's pictureThe Crooked Ladle

Best Classic Basil Pesto - It's Genesis Began in Italy


Basil Pesto with Pine Nuts - So easy to make yourself

Pesto has numerous uses in the culinary world and its core ingredient is the beautifully aromatic herb, basil. It’s one of my favorite sauces and I have to restrain myself from including too many recipes that incorporate this lush ingredient.

At the end of this recipe, I will share with you a simple way to freeze the prepared pesto because even if you are using the sauce immediately, there will likely be leftovers. There are times when I find myself making pesto on a random day where I’m not even thinking about cooking a dinner with pesto in it. That way when the day comes that I do cook a pesto ingredient meal, I won’t have the pesto prep work to do which is always a plus.

During the summer I generally grow my own pesto which ensures my basil is absolutely fresh. If you like to garden and don't have much space you can still grow basil because it also grows great in containers. Grocery stores, now, often sell live basil plants from which you can also make your own pasta. Another alternative is to just buy pesto in the jar.

Makes: Roughly a little more than one cup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Suggested Tools:

· Cutting board

· Medium bowl

· Small bowl

· Stir spoon

· Sharp knife

· Spatula

. Food processor or blender

· Long baking sheet pan (if freezing)

. Parchment paper or tin foil (if freezing)


· 2 cups fresh basil leaves

· ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

· ½ cup Parmesan cheese - grated or shredded

· 1/3 cup pine nuts (toasted pine nuts is an option)

· 2 - 3 cloves medium fresh garlic cloves

· ½ teaspoon salt

· ¼ teaspoon pepper


1. Gently rinse the fresh basil bunches, dry with paper towels and remove leaves from the stems.

2. Place all ingredients into an electric food processor or blender. Pulse the processor a couple times before allowing it to blend on full force for about 30 seconds.

3. Stop the processor/blender after initial blend and with a rubber spatula scrape down the sides. Repeat the processor one or more times as desired. And voila you have pesto!

Freezing Pesto:

Typically, freshly made pesto will last about 3 days in the refrigerator stored in an airtight container. I also like to freeze my freshly prepared pesto right after I make it. While you can freeze it in ice cube trays, I prefer to lay out a sheet of parchment paper or aluminum foil on a cookie sheet and then plop a heaping teaspoon of the pesto onto the parchment/foil. I put it in the freezer overnight (okay sometimes days just because I forget about them). Then I take them off the parchment/foil while they are frozen and seal them in a container that can withstand a freezer (such as freezer bags) and freeze them until I need them - see photos below. It can also be frozen in small jars or plastic containers for 9-12 months.

These are photos of two different batches I made at different times, one with parchment and one using aluminum foil.

The Crooked Ladle

Savor the Taste...

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