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This is one of those things that I’ve been making for years, yet never actually stopped to write it down. I recently got a GIGANTIC bundle of basil from FreshDirect, so I decided to make a few batches and actually document the process. Results? Fantastic.
You need a food processor or mini processor for this though, and this is the one I use. I like to use walnuts in my pesto as opposed to pine nuts. I find the taste to be a little nuttier, and they are less creamy than pine nuts when blended, so I like the extra crunchy texture. I use a small handful of halved walnut pieces from FreshDirect, probably around 2-3 tbsp. Feel free to use whatever nut you like! I hear some people use cashews too.
Another thing you can try is adding a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to help prevent it from oxidizing (I.e. turning brown). I usually cover it with plastic wrap directly on top of the pesto before putting it in the fridge, or covering it with a little layer of olive oil and then freezing it. Makes a huge difference! Another neat trick: you can freeze the mixture in ice cube trays with a little olive oil over the top of each one! Then pop one out whenever you need it.
Last note: I used the pre-grated kind of parm in this recipe because I was a bit too lazy to go out and buy fresh parmesan, but if you have fresh, use it! Either way though, it will be delicious.
Easy 5-Minute Basil Pesto
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves (no stems)
- 2 cloves of garlic, halved
- 2-3 tbsp of halved/chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Place the basil leaves, garlic cloves, and walnuts in the food processor. Pulse a few times until finely chopped.
- Add the parmesan cheese and a little olive oil. Blend again and continue adding in the olive oil as it blends (if your food processor has that function). If it doesn’t, add a little olive oil at a time and continue blending. The texture should become slightly creamy, with a light green color. Done!
- Serve immediately or cover tightly with plastic wrap in a ramekin/tupperware and store in the fridge. Or cover with olive oil and freeze!