This summery recipe makes about 1 1/2 cups, but I typically double it, halve it, whatever, depending on how much basil I have on hand. You can store it in the fridge for up to a week—it might get a little brown on top, but you can either stir that away or store the pesto with a thin film of olive oil on top to avoid the browning in the first place. Or do what I do and store it in the freezer—portion it into an ice cube tray, freeze, pop out the cubes, transfer them to a resealable bag, and return them to the freezer.
What to do with all that pesto? Here are a few ideas.
Makes 1 1/3 to 1 1/2 cups
- 2 1/4 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 4 1/2 ounces)
- 6 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted (see note)
- 3 cloves garlic, or more to taste
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt, or more to taste
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, or more to taste
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the basil, cheese, pine nuts, garlic, salt, and pepper and pulse to finely chop, scraping down the bowl as necessary. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil and process until smooth, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Taste and add more garlic, salt, pepper, and/or olive oil if you like.
NOTE To toast nuts: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the nuts onto a rimmed baking sheet and bake until lightly browned and fragrant, 6 to 10 minutes, depending on the type of nut and the size of the pieces.