Your Ultimate go-to recipe for Homemade Pesto. Use Fresh Basil, Fresh Parmigiano Reggiano, Fresh Garlic, Pine Nuts, and Good Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil to make the BEST Homemade Pesto 🌿
Pesto is the best way to use up a bunch of Fresh Basil from your farmers market or garden. Just put it all in the food processor and blend until combined with extra virgin olive oil. And there you have it - a good quality, Fresh Basil Pesto Recipe.
🌿What is Pesto Sauce?
Pesto sauce originated from Italy, specifically the Genoa region. In fact, the word pesto came from the Genoese verb pestare which means to "crush".
This makes sense as the original pesto was made by crushing the ingredients together in a mortar and pestle.
The traditional pesto sauce is green in color with a creamy consistency.
A typical pesto sauce contains garlic and basil as its key ingredients along with pine nuts, parmesan cheese and extra virgin olive oil.
🔪What do I need to make Pesto Sauce?
The ingredients for a basic pesto sauce is easily available almost everywhere. You should have no difficulty finding them in your local grocery store. You also don't need to worry for any long list, as it doesn't take more then seven ingredients to make pesto sauce. So let's get our shopping baskets and start searching for the ingredients for your homemade pesto sauce!
- Basil leaves - If you are going for making traditional pesto sauce, then it's best if you stick with basil leaves. Not only will they give the sauce it's distinct green color but it'll also make it strong in flavors, as basil is quite the powerful herb. If you want to make your pesto extra strong, then you should go for Thai basil. But if you want a balanced pesto sauce, just look for fresh regular basil with green leaves.
- Cheese: Romano or Parmesan - Both Romano and Parmesan cheese make for a great addition in your pesto sauce. In the end it really depends on what depth of flavor you want in your sauce. If you want a strong flavored pesto sauce then go for Romano cheese. If you want a more mild flavored pesto sauce, then the trusted parmesan cheese should be your choice. But if you want to take a middle way, just add half portion of both in the pesto sauce!
- Extra virgin olive oil - There is no replacement for this ingredient! Most people think it's the basil that makes for the base of a pesto sauce, but in actuality it's the olive oil that does the job. You just cannot make a good pesto sauce without a very good extra virgin olive oil. We suggest you go for a good quality oil here as you'll be actually tasting it in the sauce. So it better be high quality!
- Pine nuts - Pine nuts are another important part of pesto sauce. With the freshness of the basil herbs you need something rich enough to balance it. Pine nuts are not only luxurious in flavors but they are also a healthy addition in a pesto sauce. Some of the many health benefits of pine nuts includes decreasing the rate of heart diseases and improving our immune system.
- Garlic - It's no secret that Italians love garlic. So you better not skimp out on garlic in your pesto sauce! Make sure you use minced or crushed garlic and not chopped garlic, as you want to get the best out of garlic in your sauce.
- Salt - Salt is not only a basic seasoning but it is also a preservative for your pesto sauce. You can use regular table salt or go for kosher salt. We really suggest you the latter as it goes better with all kinds of sauce.
- Freshly ground black pepper - With all the heavy ingredients like basil, pine nuts and olive oil in your pasta, you'd want to add something that cuts it all the heaviness a little. Adding a spicy element like black pepper will not only round off your pesto sauce in the flavors department but it'll also add a extra kick to it!
👩🍳How to Make Pesto Sauce
Ancient Romans used to use a mortar and pestle to make their pesto sauce. Thankfully, we live in a modern age and have the privilege of food processor and blenders.
But if you want to go the old fashioned way and use mortar and pestle to make your pesto sauce, then more power to you!
- First thing first, we need to prepare the pine nuts basil for the sauce. So take your food processor (or any other equipment you are using) and put basil leaves and pine nuts in it. Spin both the ingredients until it forms a coarse paste. Remember, you don't want it to be as smooth as a smoothie. A rustic consistency is perfect!
- After you get a rough paste of basil and pine nuts you can add minced/crushed garlic and the cheese of your choice in the mix. Give it a few more spins so that everything integrates together.
- If any sauce gets stuck on the walls of the food processor, just scrape it down with a spoon. Start up your food processor again, but slowly this time. Now start pouring olive oil in a steady and small stream into the sauce so that it can emulsify in the pesto and not get separated. Be patient in this step as it is the most important one.
- Now comes the final part, and that is to season the pesto sauce. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to your taste preferences. Give it a final mix and your pesto sauce is ready to be used or stored!
🧊How to store Pesto Sauce?
Basil based pesto sauce has a tendency to spoil faster if left in open air. If your pesto sauce is getting dark green in color, it is not a good sign! But how to avoid this from happening? Just follow our tips to storing pesto sauce and you can make sure to preserve your pesto sauce for a long time!
- Always keep your pesto sauce covered whenever you're not using it. This will keep it fresh green for a longer duration.
- If you want to store pesto sauce, just keep it in an air-tight glass jar inside the sauce shelf of your fridge. This way you can make your pesto sauce last a week quite easily.
- If you want a more permanent storage, just freeze your pesto sauce. To do this just pack it in a safe to freeze container and store it in the freezer of your fridge. This way you can expect your pesto sauce to last about two months easily. Just thaw and microwave before using it!
⛑Is Pesto bad for you?
Many people believe that ingredients like pine nuts, cheese, and extra virgin olive oil bloats you up. But, little did they know that this fat is actually good for your heart health. Basically, Pesto has unsaturated fat and that is so good for your heart.
👀What is Pesto mainly made of?
Pesto is primarily made of Fresh basil, Fresh garlic, Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese, Pine Nuts, and Extra Virgin Olive oil. The catch here is to use fresh ingredients for best taste. Besides that, just season with salt and pepper and your work is done.
📝What Do you Use Pesto For?
Pesto can be used for so many things. You can of course add it in pasta. But, here are 10 ways to use Pesto beyond Pasta.
You can also make:
Pesto Mushroom Potstickers (Vegan Potstickers)
One Pot Lemon Basil Pesto Pasta
🥜Pesto Recipe without Pine Nuts
I get it. Pine Nuts are way to expensive to be making just a sauce. But, wait. We have variations that can help you get that exact same taste without begging you to dig deep in your pocket.
- Pistachio Nuts
- Toasted Almonds
- Toasted Sunflower Seeds
🌱How to Make Vegan Pesto
Just replace regular Parmesan Cheese with Vegan Parmesan Cheese. Pair it with Butter Cauliflower Curry or Sticky Cauliflower Rice "Meat" Balls or Chickpea Meatballs and you'll love it.
Homemade Pesto Recipe
- 1 cup fresh basil
- 2 cloves fresh garlic peeled
- 3 tablespoon pine nuts
- ⅓ cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
- ⅓ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Combine fresh Basil, Pine Nuts, Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese, fresh garlic, Kosher Salt, and Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese in a food processor. Pour Extra Virgin Olive Oil through the opening in a slow stream while the motor is rotating until combined. Squeeze lemon juice for extra freshness. Stir lightly.
- Store it in an airtight jar for up to 7 days in the refrigerator.
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