Classic Basil Pesto
Turn the bounty of summer basil into a delicious sauce with this easy pesto recipe. Try it stirred into a tomato or potato salad, or spread onto a sandwich in place of your favorite condiment.
- 2 ½ cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves (about 5 ounces)
- ⅓ cup finely shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
- 1 large clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Place basil, cheese, pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped, scraping down the sides once or twice. With the motor running, add oil and continue to process until well combined, scraping down the sides once or twice.
MAKE AHEAD TIPS
- For the best flavor, toast nuts and seeds before using in a recipe. To toast seeds, sliced or chopped nuts, place in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes. To toast whole nuts, spread in a single layer in a small baking pan and bake in a 350°F oven until golden and fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes, stirring the nuts or shaking the pan once. Transfer to a small bowl or plate to cool. (When toasting hazelnuts, rub the nuts with a clean kitchen towel as soon as they come out of the oven to remove as much of the papery skin as possible.)
- Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze in an ice cube tray. Transfer frozen cubes to a sealable plastic bag. Defrost as needed.