This Fresh Homemade Basil Pesto is one of the ways to use all that basil that is growing in your garden.
Homemade Basil Pesto
We always have lots of basil growing in our garden, and what better way to use it, than in this delicious homemade basil pesto!
Not only is pesto a great way to use up all your freshly grown basil, is it a great accompaniment to many roast dishes and also makes a big bowl of pasta taste amazing when it is stirred through!
Pesto is extremely versatile, use it:
- as a sauce for meat or fish
- in a pasta sauce such as Alfredo
- spoon it over roasted vegetables
- spread in a sandwich or grilled cheese
- drizzle over BBQ or roast chicken
- spread over garlic bread for an appetiser
- serve as a dip with freshly chopped vegetables, and crackers
- use as a dressing, mixing it through a fresh salad
- use on pizza as a topping
Ingredients for Basil Pesto
For this pesto recipe, we used Parmesan cheese, which can be substituted with Romano cheese, if you want a stronger cheese flavour. The pine nuts can also easily be substituted with walnuts.
If you find the pesto has too much of a strong basil flavour for you, try substituting half of the basil with fresh baby spinach leaves.
This recipe uses:
- fresh sweet basil leaves
- lemon juice
- pine nuts
- grated Parmesan
- olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
How to make Pesto
Start by lightly toasting your pine nuts in a skillet or pan or in the microwave. This step is not needed, but it does enhance the flavour, so is well worth taking the time to do this. You could also roast the garlic in this step as well.
Place all the ingredients, except the olive oil in a food processor.
Process, drizzling the oil in a nice, thin stream until emulsified.
You may need to scrap down the sides to make sure all the ingredients are mixed correctly.
How to Store Pesto
This pesto recipe can be frozen for up to four months or placed in the fridge for up to one week.
For smaller serves, freeze in an ice cube tray until frozen, then remove from the tray and place in a ziplock bag, remove all the air and put the bag back in the freezer until you need it. When you go to use it, defrost it in the fridge for 3 – 4 hours or until thawed.
Place in the freezer for up to four months, making sure to label and date before placing in the freezer.
More about Herbs & Seasonings
- How to Harvest, Use and Preserve Basil
- Dehydrate Celery
- Make Celery Salt
- Uses for Rosemary
- Growing Basil
- Using Turmeric
- Easy Italian Seasoning
- Homemade Chicken Stock
- Hollandaise Sauce
- Homemade Minced Garlic
- Low Carb BBQ Dry Rub
Homemade Basil PestoSimple Living. Creative Learning
- Food Processor
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups fresh sweet basil leaves, packed
- 2 - 4 cloves garlic
- 1 TBSP lemon juice
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 cup parmesan, grated
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Toast pine nuts by heating a skillet (or pan) over medium-high heat; toast pine nuts until golden, tossing occasionally in the pan OR
- Toast pine nuts by placing them on a microwave safe plate. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir and microwave again for another 30 seconds or until pine nuts smell fragrant. Do not overcook.
- Allow pine nuts to cool slightly.
- Place all the ingredients, except the olive oil in a food processor.
- Process, drizzling the oil in a nice, thin stream until emulsified.
- You may need to scrap down the sides to make sure all the ingredients are mixed correctly.
- For a more traditional pesto sauce, pine nuts can be substituted for walnuts.
- For a milder basil taste, you can substitute half of the basil with baby spinach leaves.