There is nothing like the smell or taste of fresh basil. My neighbor makes fun of me because almost every garden bed has some form of basil in it. I love basil and I always have a lot of it in the summer.

Did you know that basil boasts numerous health benefits because of it’s high levels of antioxidants, magnesium and vitamins?

That isn’t the only reason I plant a lot of it – I just love it and it brings back some good memories. The first time I met my future in-laws, my mother-in-law served pesto.

Last year, I decided to take the very brave step of making my own pesto. It’s not that making pesto is hard –  it’s a little intimidating to try to make pesto as good as my mother-in-law’s was.

This is my family’s favorite pesto recipe. It is easy to make and easy to freeze. My sons snatch jars from the freezer every chance they get to use at home.

My Favorite Pesto Recipe

Pesto is easy to make with few ingredients
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword basil, garlic, pasta, pesto, pine nuts
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings 1 1/2 pint jar
Author Bernie Griffith

Equipment

  • food processor
  • 1/2 pint jars (optional)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Fresh Basil Leaves
  • 2-3 cloves Garlic
  • 1/3 cup Pine Nuts or a Mix of Pine Nuts / Slivered Almonds
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 small jar Marinated Artichokes (optional)

Instructions

  • Add fresh basil leaves, garlic cloves, pine nuts, salt and pepper to the food processor bowl. Pulse 5-6 times until ingredients are blended and coarsely chopped
  • Turn the food processor on the low setting. Add the olive oil in a slow steady stream.
  • If storing skip this step.
    If using immediately add the parmesan cheese to the food processor. Drain the marinated artichokes. Combine the pesto and artichokes and serve over pasta.
  • Cover jar or bowl and store in refrigerator for a few days - OR
  • If you have not yet added parmesan cheese to the recipe, you can freeze the pesto for months. I freeze and store pesto using canning 1/2 pint jars and plastic lids.
  • When you're ready to use the pesto, drain the marinated artichokes. Place pesto mix into a pan and add drained artichokes. Slightly warm the pesto or allow it to come to room temperature.
    Pesto should NEVER be cooked. If you cook Pesto Sauce, the basil can to turn darker in color and lose some flavour. It is best to warm it up and use it at room temperature. If it needs thinned you can add a little olive oil, white wine, water or even chicken stock.
    Serve over pasta.

Notes

What's nice about pesto is that you can use it for more than just pasta. If you do a search for "What can you do with Pesto" you'll find fantastic ideas from multiple sources. 

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