When I met my now-fiancé, he was whipping up a fresh batch of homemade pesto. I walked into his house in Los Angeles, hoping he could fix my drone when wafts of basil hit my nose before even crossing the threshold. He knew I was coming over, and thus, he knew exactly what he was doing 😉 Knowing this man could cook?! I was sold. It’s true…pesto is for lovers!
Since that time, we moved into a house together and have grown a beautiful herb garden (what else do you do in quarantine?). Basil is the shining star, and pesto is on the menu many nights out of the month. Sometimes we even pretend we’re dining on a patio in Capri since this secret sauce hails from Italy. It’s incredibly easy to make, and if I can do it – you can do it, too. Just clean, take the stems off and throw the leaves in a food processor (linked my exact one!) with nuts and garlic. Dribble in the oil and you’ve got a versatile sauce for toast, grain bowls, pizza, pasta, chicken or fish.
5 cups fresh basil leaves (2-3 bunches)
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1 to 2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
squeeze of lemon
- Put half the basil into the food processor. Pulse together with pine nuts (or any nut of your choice – we’ve also used pistachios), garlic and salt until finely chopped. Note* Carefully pulse the basil in the processor instead of blend. You want to keep that rough texture.
- Scrape down the sides of the processor and add the remaining basil. Pulse until a paste forms. That may take quite a few pulses.
- Add the olive oil as you pulse until the mixture is emulsified into the basil and the pesto looks uniform. Adding more olive oil is better for a spread while less olive oil is better for a pasta sauce.
- Taste it! Feel free to add more salt, olive oil, garlic, etc.
- Store any extra pesto in a small sealed container. It will last for several days but the surface may turn a bit brown and will need additional olive oil stirred in when used again. Enjoy!