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Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time25 mins
Servings: 1 cup


  • 3 cups Basil Leaves (packed)
  • 1 cup Toasted Pine Nuts
  • 6 Cloves of Garlic, peeled and smashed
  • ¾ cup Parmesan Cheese - shredded
  • ½ cup Olive Oil
  • 1 TBSP Salt
  • Lemon Zest (Optional)


  • Blanch the basil in salted water.  This will keep the pesto a bright green color and it helps bring out the basil flavor.
    Only blanch them for 30 seconds and then immediately put the basil leaves in an ice bath to shock them and stop the cooking.  Afterwards, squeeze and pat the leaves dry.
    Toast the pine nuts. Spread the nuts out onto a sheet pan and place in a 400F oven for 5-10 minutes until a roasted brown color. Let them rest until cool.
  • Once the leaves are completely dry add them with the toasted pine nuts, garlic, parmesan cheese and salt into a food processor. You can start with ½ the garlic and ½ the salt, you can add more as you go to control the flavors.
    *You can also use a blender if you don't have a food processor.
  • Pulse the food processor, as you pulse, pour in the olive oil. Continue to process until all ingredients are incorporated. Taste - add in more garlic if you would like. It it's too strong or bitter (from the olive oil) add in a pinch or two of salt and pulse a few times to make sure it's mixed in. Salt will soften the intensity of the flavors.