Classic Pesto

Sweet-and-spicy basil is the main ingredient in pesto. For an appetizer, spread pesto over toasted or grilled slices of baguette.

  • Yield: Makes 1 cup

Source: Everyday Food, June 2006


  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 4 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves (2 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread nuts on a rimmed baking sheet; toast in oven until golden and fragrant, tossing once, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from baking sheet to prevent further browning. Let cool completely. In a food processor, combine nuts, basil, cheese, and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Process until finely chopped. With machine running, pour oil in a steady stream through the feed tube; process until smooth.

Cook's Notes

To store, transfer pesto to a container, pressing plastic wrap directly on its surface (to prevent it from oxidizing and turning dark). Refrigerate up to five days.


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