Basil Pesto with Lemon

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Serves 1 1/2 cups | Prep Time 10 | Cook Time

Why I Love This Recipe

I love to make this, freeze it in ice cube trays and then store it in a large Ziploc bag for future use. I especially love making large batches of this in early summer when my basil plant is flourishing and I need to use it all up before the heat gets to it.

Ingredients You'll Need

2 cups fresh basil leaves (packed into measuring cup)
3-4 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup pine nuts
3/4 cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh squeeze lemon juice
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste


Wash basil leaves if needed and spin dry or dry with paper towels. Put basil leaves and sliced garlic into food processor that’s been fitted with the steel blade and process until basil and garlic is finely chopped, adding oil through the feed tube as you process. (You may need to take off the lid and scrape the sides with a rubber scraper if you have a hard time getting the basil all chopped.)

Add pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and lemon juice to the chopped basil mixture and process 1-2 minutes more, until the pesto is mostly pureed and well mixed. (I like to keep it slightly chunky, but you can make it as finely pureed as you wish.)

Season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper and pulse a few times more.

Store basil pesto in the refrigerator in a glass jar, where it will keep for more than a week. Pesto can also be frozen. Many cooking experts recommend leaving out the cheese if you’re going to freeze it, and then adding the cheese when you thaw the pesto. (I’ve done it both ways and haven’t noticed that much difference.)

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