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Basil Pesto = Summer in a Sauce

Fresh basil, olive oil, nuts, and freshly grated parmesan cheese = a classic summer sauce. Suitable for dipping, dressing salads, noodles, burgers, eggs ... the possibilities are endless.
Prep Time10 mins
Course: Appetizer, Condiment, Garnish, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 10


  • 2 c packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 - 2 c loosely packed fresh baby spinach leaves Optional - used to extend the basil and increase the nutritional content.
  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • 1/2 c toasted nuts traditionally, pine nuts are used. Walnuts are a great substitute.
  • 1/2 c freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 - 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 whole lemon, juiced optional
  • 2 tsp lemon zest optional
  • 1/2 tsp sugar optional
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper or to taste


  • Toast the nuts in a dry skillet 2 - 3 minutes, just until you can smell them. Let cool.
  • Put everything else in your food processor and blitz until it is as creamy as your processor is going to get it.
  • Let the pesto rest in the refrigerator 30 minutes before using.