A Simple Fresh Basil Pesto Recipe


Pesto and Pine Nut Basil Reco[e

Every year I grow a pot of sweet basil on the back deck, and this year I’m growing several varieties. Two common green, one purple and one variegated purple.  So what do you do with all that basil?


Purple Pesto

Yup, I should have kept the plant markers, as now I don’t know the exact names. With my bumper crops, I’ve been making a batch of pesto every weekend.

Appetizer plate with Fresh Pesto

It’s so delicious, freezes easily and can be simply smeared on bread, topped on grilled chicken or fish, or stirred into a pasta recipe. Pictured is an appetizer platter I took to a friend’s house when we were invited over for a barbeque. Sliced baguette, fresh tomatoes from my garden, fresh homemade mozzarella and a bowl of homemade fresh basil pesto in the middle. This was a hit and didn’t last long at the party.

I’ve always used this simple recipe for homemade fresh basil pesto.

5.0 from 1 reviews

Simple Fresh Basil Pesto Recipe
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ⅓ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  1. Rinse and dry the fresh basil leaves. Combine basil with the toasted pine nuts in a food processor. Pulse a few times in a food processor. Add the garlic, pulse again two more times.
  2. Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Fresh Basil Pesto…It’s What’s for an Appetizer.

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  1. says

    Your pesto looks delicious LA and I’ll save your recipe. Also the appetizer plate looks very inviting and it sounds like you made, grew everything but the bread – very nice.

  2. says

    Looks yummy. I love eating pesto with everything, it’s a great summer food. Kinda like drinking a good Rose! It tastes really good when it’s hot!

  3. says

    Looks great, Lea Ann! I didn’t have much luck with the purple basil this year but the standard green basil is doing well in containers on my deck. Your pesto looks perfect with tomatoes and bread.

    • says

      I planted purple basil one other year that didn’t work out very well. This year it’s flourishing. Wonder if our climate is better for one variety. Unfortunately, I don’t know what I bought.

  4. says

    In my book, there is just nothing better than simple basil pesto. It’s so versatile and sooooo incredibly good on just about anything. Plus, it’s always got such a lovely color!!!

  5. says

    I love fresh pesto! My basil has now gone to seed while I wasn’t paying attention and is tall and leggy. Next year I’m going to make and freeze lots of pesto earlier on. Yours looks beautiful.

    • says

      Karen, those plants can be sneaky and in the heat go to seed very quickly. My plants are right outside my door, so I can’t miss anything about their behavior.

  6. says

    My recipe is very similar to yours, Lea Ann. I’m kind of a purist when it comes to pesto and prefer the basic flavors. I’m sure your appetizer platter was a big hit. I would be happy having just that for my dinner.

  7. says

    LOVE pesto! Your pictures are beautiful. You probably know this, but you can save it in ice cube sized blocks for winter sauces and soups. I am always on a mission to use or store every bit of what I grow. Gets to be a challenge during the zucchini season. :-)

    • says

      Yes, I’ve seen people use the ice cube tray trick. Can you believe I don’t have any? I should go to the dollar store and get a couple. Thanks for the compliment on the photos.


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