Pesto - A Basic Guide

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Recipe: #12733

June 08, 2014

"Pesto is one of those things that is so personal! IMHO, pesto is one of those things where you just need to know WHAT the ingredients are, then play with it until you find what pleases you. In my family, DH adds way more garlic than I do. I like a bit of red pepper flakes in mine. He doesn't totally care for the lemon, but I do. You get the picture! So play to your heart's content - you really can't go wrong! This recipe makes about 2 cups of pesto. I usually freeze small amounts in Ziploc snack-size bags so they're ready to go when I am! Yield 2 cups"

Original is 8 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (80.3 g)
  • Calories 316.8
  • Total Fat - 29.3 g
  • Saturated Fat - 4.1 g
  • Cholesterol - 4 mg
  • Sodium - 234.6 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 12.5 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 3 g
  • Sugars - 0.6 g
  • Protein - 5.9 g
  • Calcium - 90.8 mg
  • Iron - 2 mg
  • Vitamin C - 44.6 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.1 mg

Step by Step Method

Step 1

Place garlic cloves, pine nuts, basil and parmesan cheese in the bowl of your food processor. Pulse until roughly chopped, then process until it's the consistency you want. I like mine to have some texture.

Step 2

Add the lemon juice and olive oil, process briefly until combined.

Step 3

Remove to a bowl, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Depending on your cheese, it may not require any salt at all. Adjust olive oil as you see fit.

Note: I don't add too much olive oil at this point, since I don't know how I'm going to use it. If it needs more oil, it can be added when you use it. It's also more compact for freezing.

Step 4

If not being used immediately, it freezes beautifully. You can place in ice cube trays, then into a bag when cubes have frozen. Or simply put meal-sized portions into snack-sized baggies and freeze.


  • Food processor

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