Your search for the ultimate homemade basil pesto ends here! This easy and quick recipe of basil pesto is just perfect for all us pesto lovers!
Life is so good when you can whiz up your own pesto at home with your own home-grown fresh basil and home-grown fresh spinach! Don’t you agree? I am sure you do! But even if you don’t have basil and spinach growing at your home, you can still have a lot of fun whizzing up basil pesto in the comfort of your own kitchen! Trust me, the homemade basil pesto is simply not comparable with the bottled ones you get in the supermarkets which has thousands of unknown ingredients, let alone the preservatives! And there is just no reason to not make basil pesto at home given the fact that it is just so easy! You actually don’t need a recipe for making basil pesto, honestly! All you need is a food processor!
I know what you are gonna tell me now or at least thinking of telling me! Yeah, I admit! I am getting way too obsessed with food processor lately! But I have reasons for that, trust me! Basil pesto is definitely one of all those reasons. And there are more like – making your own breadcrumbs, making your own peanut butter (for those peanut butter fudge or the lip-smacking peanut sauce!), meat mincing, dough kneading, nut chopping, herb chopping and the list goes on and on. I am not making anything up; all these are tasks that I use my food processor for on a daily basis! All right! Let’s get back to home-grown basil and home-grown spinach!
These cute fresh green leaves were honoring our kitchen garden for quite some time now and then finally it was time to harvest them. I had first decided to make only basil pesto, but after looking at those fresh baby spinach leaves, I knew immediately that they are also going into my basil pesto. So technically it is spinach basil pesto, which, I will say, is a double dose of health and nutrition. But in case you don’t have spinach handy, do not worry, there is nothing to panic; life is still good! Just make this pesto as is only omitting the spinach and you will get the most amazing homemade basil pesto ever, right in your own comfy kitchen! Before signing off for today, few last words on the nuts to use for basil pesto. If you are eager to know which nuts are used traditionally in pesto then I have to say “pine nuts”. But hold on there!
You don’t have to sigh in disappointment. I can totally understand how you might be feeling, realizing that you don’t have pine nuts in your pantry. I have gone through the same trauma my dear friends! But I will still insist to hold on that sigh! Because you really don’t have to worry! You can substitute pine nuts with walnuts, almonds or cashew nuts and your basil pesto will be equally awesome! I have used cashew nuts this time and everyone (including me of course!) has loved it, and I can’t stress it enough! And in case you don’t have any of the 4 types of nuts handy, then I guess you are due for your supermarket trip for a long time! Happy shopping!
- Fresh spinach leaves – 1 & ½ cup, tightly packed
- Fresh basil leaves – 1 cup, tightly packed
- Toasted pine nuts/walnuts/almonds/cashew nuts – ½ cup
- Grated parmesan cheese – ½ cup
- Garlic – 4 cloves, peeled
- Extra-virgin olive oil – ½ cup
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Put all the ingredients except the oil into a food processor and give them few quick pulses so that the leaves and nuts chop up and all ingredients mix together.
- Now keeping your food processor on, drizzle the olive oil slowly through the feed tube of your processor. Process the pesto until you get a smooth and silky texture. This will take few minutes. You may feel that your pesto is not coming together even after adding all the oil; but just keep processing for few minutes more and you will get there.
- That’s it! Isn’t it too good to be true? Use this fabulous homemade basil pesto in your favorite pasta (mine coming up soon! So stay tuned!), salad dressings and even on toasts! You can also freeze them up for 5 to 6 months. Enjoy!