This homemade pesto recipe is made with fresh basil and a few other simple ingredients. It can be used over pasta or spread lightly over bread, and a little goes a long way.
Homemade Pesto Recipe
Did you plant and harvest basil from your herb garden this year? Then you might have a little bit of extra basil that needs to find a use! Or if you need a simple pesto recipe for a dish you are planning on making, you will love this one.
Homemade Pesto Recipe
What You Need:
- 2 cups fresh basil
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 2 medium cloves of garlic, minced
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 pint jar
How to Make Homemade Pesto
Rinse your basil leaves and pat dry.
Add them to the food processor with the pine nuts and pulse several times.
Next, add the olive oil and blend until smooth.
Add the Parmesan cheese and pulse.
At this point, you may need to scrape any ingredients that have stuck to the side of your processor.
Mince one garlic clove before adding to the processor and pulse again. I recommend taste testing at this point to determine if you’d like the other garlic clove.
Scrape the sides of your processor again if necessary.
Once you’ve added your garlic, add the salt and pepper, blending one last time.
Transfer your pesto to a clean pint or half-pint jar. A thin layer of olive oil should begin to accumulate on top of the pesto. Twist the lid on the jar and refrigerate.
Canning pesto is not recommended. The parmesan cheese, olive oil, and garlic within the recipe can create an environment for botulism to thrive in, even when pressure canned.
The National Center for Home Food Preservation says, “Pesto is an uncooked seasoning mixture of herbs, usually including fresh basil, and some oil. It may be frozen for long-term storage; there are no home canning recommendations.”
To preserve the pesto you could place it in either 1/2 pint containers or freezer bags and freeze for future use. Fresh pesto will last about a week in the fridge if stored in an air-tight container. Freezing is the preferred method of preservation if you want to make it in advance.
Here’s another great way to preserve pesto! Pour the finished recipe into ice cube containers and then freeze. After the pesto has frozen you can pop the pesto cubes out of the ice tray. Store them the freezer in a freezer bag until ready to use. This way you can quickly grab out only the amount you need for a recipe.
Have you ever tried Freezing Kale?
What to Add Homemade Pesto To
- Veggie Dips
- Scrambled Eggs
- Pizza (replace the sauce)
- Bread (add into any basic bread recipe!)
- Sandwich Spread
- Salad Dressing
Do you grow mint? Here are 10 fun Uses for Mint!
Substitutions in the Basic Recipe
If you don’t have all the ingredients for the basic recipe above, you might be interested in some of these simple substitutions.
- Replace the pine nuts for walnuts, cashews, or almonds.
- Replace the basil with cilantro., spinach, zucchini, or other green veggies.
- Replace the pine nuts with sunflower seeds.
Head over here to find all our other free Canning and Preserving Recipes!
Do you have a special homemade pesto recipe? Have you ever tried preserving pesto?