This classic fresh Basil Pesto recipe combines the vibrant and wonderful flavors of basil, parsley, toasted pine nuts, parmesan, garlic and olive oil.
You can serve this basil pesto as an appetizer, smother your favorite protein like chicken or prawns, or toss with pasta or vegetables.
Pesto is one of those foods that you can buy prepackaged and sometimes that’s good enough. But its also one of those foods that once you make it from scratch using fresh vibrant green basil and parsley leaves, a pungent hard parmesan, aromatic toasted pine nuts, potent garlic, and an olive oil you just want to smell all day and night, you’ll never buy it premade again. If you’ve never made pesto from scratch, its remarkably easier than you think. I like making enough that I can use it for multiple recipes – mix into meatballs, spread over pizza crust in lieu of a red sauce, toss it with hot shrimp and angel hair pasta. The possibilities are endless. A lot of people don’t like mixing parsley in but I did for two reasons: 1) Parsley gives your pesto a richer greener color and 2) I had a big bunch of parsley and didn’t want to waste it. Most of the things prepared in my kitchen are made because I have some ingredient(s) that need to be used up.
So, this food blog of mine is pretty new and I’m still getting the hang of styling food in an attempt to make it look not only pretty but appetizing as well. If I were to draw you a flow chart, you would see my typical routine is cook > serve > eat with very little time in between each of those steps. Taking the extra time to stage and photograph the food has considerably altered my workflow and has taken some getting used to. I’m particularly impressed with my basil pesto photos because my 7-year-old foodie-in-training daughter completely styled them. She positioned everything on the plate and allowed me just enough time to snap a few pics before picking up a piece of the pesto smothered baguette to eat it. Good girl.
- 3 cups packed basil
- 1/2 cup packed parsley
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1 cup parmesan grated
- 4 small garlic cloves minced
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- To toast pine nuts, heat in small saute pan over medium heat, shaking pan regularly until pine nuts are golden in color and have an aromatic nutty smell. Take care not to burn. Remove from pan and cool completely.
- Place basil, parsley, toasted pine nuts, grated parmesan, and minced garlic in food processor and pulse to combine.
- Turn processor on and slowly pour in olive oil and continue mixing until well combined. If needed, scrape sides and mix further.
- Serve immediately.
- Store in refrigerator in air tight container with thin layer of olive oil poured over the surface to keep the pesto's vibrant green color. Will last up to one week. Yields approximately 2 cups.