If you have never had homemade pesto, stop what you’re doing right now and go and make some. Well, finish reading the recipe first, then go pick up the ingredients and make yourself a batch of fresh basil pesto. Prepared pesto is “ok” but it does not compare to fresh, homemade pesto. Basil pesto is loaded with flavor and it’s a versatile ingredient that has so many great uses.
Here are just a few uses for fresh, basil pesto
- Coat chicken breasts with it and then grill them on an outdoor grill or on a George Foreman grill. They will be tender and juicy and you just might lick the plate.
- Make pesto mayo for grilled chicken, tomato and mozzarella or turkey sandwiches.
- Make paninis with grilled chicken or fresh veggies.
- Dress hot pasta with it.
- Dress crusty bread with it and broil it.
- Spread it all over pizza dough for a fresh pizza sauce.
Making basil pesto from scratch is not complicated at all and it’s totally worth having to wash a few dishes.
Start by toasting some pine nuts in a dry pan on medium heat just until they are lightly toasted. Remove from the heat immediately to avoid burning them. You can omit this step, but if you’re a regular reader here, you know I am a firm believer in toasting nuts before adding them to my recipes. Toasting them brings out the nutty flavor and I’ll let you in on a little secret – I don’t even wash the pan I toasted them in. Nope, I just put it back in the cupboard. I’m such a rebel!
Add the toasted pine nuts, basil leaves, parmigiano-reggiano cheese, olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic to a food processor. I mince the garlic with my garlic press before adding it so that I don’t end up with big chunks of garlic.
Pulse it a few times to get everything broken up and then blend until it has the consistency of a thick sauce. Make sure to scrape the sides a couple of times during the process and if it’s too thick, just add some extra olive oil.
Store covered in the refrigerator. It should last about 3-4 days, but mine usually only lasts about 1-2 (wink, wink.)
Enjoy! Thank you so much for stopping by. I’d appreciate it if you would pin this recipe to Pinterest and be sure to follow me on social media and subscribe so that you’ll be notified when I post a new recipe.