Fresh Basil Pesto

Green Pesto

We keep it authentic when it comes to pesto. Our Fresh Basil Pesto is made with six simple ingredients: fresh basil leaves, pine nuts, parmesan, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. With these six ingredients, you can make a fresh and flavourful green pesto to have with your favourite pasta, gnocchi, salad, bread, cheese boards, or crackers.

Tips and Tricks to make the best Fresh Basil Pesto

We implement a few tricks that we have learnt along the way when making our fresh basil pesto.

  • Choose a basil plant that has small leaves. They tend to be sweeter and less bitter. As well, if you have your own basil growing, younger basil (first picked) will be sweeter.
  • To get a deep green colour in your pesto you would need to prepare your pesto chopping the basil leaves and garlic by hand but this can take a bit longer. We use our food processor when cooking pesto as it saves time and energy that we need for our little bundle of joy(welcome to parenthood). Leaving the basil leaves in ice cubes for a couple of minutes and the food processor blades in the freezer for 10 minutes, your basil will stay fresh and green while blending it. Make sure you completely dry the basil before adding it into the food processor
  • Use a good quality extra virgin olive oil. We are lucky living in Spain as olive oil is normally really good and not too expensive. The olive oil will define the taste of your pesto so you want the right one.
  • Parmesan. Tricky ingredient for us as vegetarians. We love cheese and especially Parmesan. But it’s not vegetarian as it contains rennet. You can find vegetarian hard cheese in some supermarkets, but it won’t be labelled as Parmesan cheese. It may be labelled as hard cheese. Our favourite brand is Violife.

How to make Fresh Basil Pesto Step by Step

  • Take the basil leaves and leave them in ice for a couple of minutes. At the same time, place the blade from the food processor you will use in the freezer.
  • Dry the basil leaves completely and place the blade into the food processor. Add the basil and pine nuts. Pulse for a couple of times. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula to get all the ingredients.
  • Add the hard cheese (Vegetarian Parmesan) and the crushed garlic. Pulse several times and scrape down the sides if needed.
  • Leave the food processor running and pour the extra virgin olive oil slowly.
  • Add salt and pepper, stir and your pesto will be ready to serve.
Green Pesto

Once you have mastered this fresh basil pesto, you may want to try preparing our delicious Roasted Red Pepper Pesto!

Our Fresh Basil Pesto Pasta with Asparagus

One fantastic way to serve your pesto is with pasta. We love when asparagus is in season and try to make the most of it. This delicious dish just needs homemade pesto, asparagus and lemon zest.

  1. Boil some spaghetti following packet instructions and reserve 1 cup of the cooking water before draining the pasta. This will be perfect to give your pesto a creamy consistency.
  2. Cook the asparagus in a cooking griddle and when they are nearly cooked, add some lemon zest, salt, pepper and turn off the heat.
  3. Add pesto to the pasta when this has been cooked and drained, the asparagus and a couple of tablespoons of the cooking water.
  4. Adjust to taste. You can add some more lemon zest on the top, salt and pepper and some more hard cheese.
Green Pesto pasta

How to make Vegan Fresh Basil Pesto

Vegetarian hard cheese is not an easy one to find, at least where we live. Sometimes we make our fresh basil pesto vegan using yeast flakes. Yeast flakes will give your pesto a cheesy taste, will add vitamin B12 and a really delicious taste to it. We use the same amount of nutritional yeast flakes as the amount used of hard cheese. It’s a perfect alternative to make this sauce vegan or lactose-free.

Fresh Basil Pesto

We keep it traditional when it comes to pesto. Simple, fresh and tasty.
Prep Time15 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: pasta, Pesto
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Fresh Basil Pesto
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 2 cups basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup hard Cheese Vegetarian Parmesan
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
  • A pinch of salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Take the basil leaves and leave them in ice for a couple of minutes. At the same time, place the blade from the food processor you will use in the freezer.
  • Dry the basil leaves completely and place the blade into the food processor. Add the basil and pine nuts. Pulse for a couple of times. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula to get all the ingredients.
  • Add the hard cheese (Vegetarian Parmesan) and the crushed garlic. Pulse several times and scrape down the sides if needed.
  • Leave the food processor running and pour the extra virgin olive oil slowly.
  • Add salt and pepper, stir and your pesto will be ready to serve.
basil pesto

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