Classic Pesto

Notes: This all-purpose pesto is great to mix with pasta, hot cooked green beans, potatoes, and asparagus; brush it over chicken, shrimp, or pork, and stir it into salad dressings and soups. Pesto darkens rapidly when exposed to air. You can cover the pesto airtight (press plastic wrap directly onto surface) or cover surface with a little extra olive oil. Store up to 1 day in the refrigerator. Or spoon into ice-cube trays, press plastic wrap onto surface, and freeze; when solid, pop cubes from trays and store airtight for up to 6 months in the freezer. Thaw before using. If surface darkens, just stir to blend.

Yield: Makes 1 1/2 cups
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Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 92
  • Calories from fat: 88%
  • Protein: 2.5g
  • Fat: 9g
  • Saturated fat: 1.9g
  • Carbohydrate: 1.2g
  • Fiber: 0.7g
  • Sodium: 76mg
  • Cholesterol: 3.2mg


  • 2 or 3 peeled garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 4 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Put 2 or 3 peeled garlic cloves and 1/4 cup pine nuts in a food processor or blender and whirl until coarsely chopped. Rinse and drain 4 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves; gently pat dry. Add basil, 1 cup grated parmesan cheese (about 4 oz.), and 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil to garlic mixture; whirl until smooth (if using blender, stop to push basil down into blades as needed). Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Nutritional analysis per tablespoon.
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