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Under 30 Minutes

Basic Basil Pesto

A special thanks to whoever invented the food processor, which lets us whip up this tasty pesto in 5 minutes flat.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Makes 3/4 cup
Basic Basil Pesto

Source: Everyday Food, June 2010


  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 3 cups packed fresh basil leaves (2 1/4 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan


  1. On a cutting board, sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon salt over garlic and roughly chop. Using a flat side of the knife blade, crush mixture into a thick paste. Add to a food processor with pine nuts, basil, and 1 tablespoon oil. Pulse until ingredients are finely chopped. With machine running, add remaining oil in a slow, steady stream. Add Parmesan and pulse to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook's Note

Use walnuts or pecans for the pine nuts. You can also replace half the basil with arugula or parsley. Or try cilantro along with pumpkin seeds.

Reviews (1)

  • amqueen 12 Oct, 2012

    I made this just the way it's stated in the recipe. Its good just on the more of a paste side. so I then did a variation I put more olive oil , half of a lime juice and 2 tbs of white vinegar. It is awsome for pasta, for dipping bread, as a sandwich dressing, you name it its awsome! also I frozen half of it in small containers with some olive oil on top so it would freeze just right.

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