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Basil Pesto Recipe

Basil Pesto
Allison Beck

Basil Pesto

Nothing screams summer to me more than a fragrant, freshly-made pesto. Nearly sick of this winter’s cold weather and snow, I’ve been craving this simple and delicious spread all week. I love serving it on a piece of toast, with some fresh mozzarella slices and a couple of chopped sundried tomatoes (I’ll choose tomatoes from the garden in the summer), or tossed with fresh fettuccine, baby arugula, and a sprinkling of Parmigiano-Reggiano for an easy weeknight dinner. It’s also really good in a ham and Swiss cheese sandwich.

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  • 4 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves, washed and dried
  • 4 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, cut into slices
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts (also known as pignoli nuts)
  • Salt, to taste
  •  About 2 cups extra-virgin olive oil


In a food processor, chop the basil leaves until in about ¼-inch pieces. Add the cheese, pine nuts, and a large pinch of salt. Pulse again until all the nuts and cheese are ground well. With the processor running, add the olive oil until the pesto is the consistency you prefer. (I like a thick pesto for spreading on sandwiches and toast, but I’ll add more oil to thin the pesto out for tossing with pasta.) Season to taste.