Fresh Basil Pesto

in Burgers & Sliders, Condiments, Pasta, Pesto, Pizza, Sandwich & Wraps, Summer Tomatoes

Fresh Basil Pesto

Pesto has to be one of my favorite thing these days. I drizzle it on a stack of sliced tomatoes and mozzarella. I also use it on panini made with sliced turkey, tomatoes, and thick slices of mozz. We like to spread it on bread and it’s pretty fabulous mixed into cooked pasta and baked into palmiers.

Pesto Palmiers

Pesto is best served fresh but it will keep a couple weeks in the fridge if tightly covered and can be frozen. Adding Vitamin C might seem a little weird but that’s because it is 🙂 BUT, it really does help keep fresh pesto that beautiful, vibrant shade of green – and you can’t taste it. If you choose not to use the Vitamin C, drizzle just enough olive oil on top to cover pesto in a thin layer when storing – this will also help preserve discoloration.

Braided Pesto Bread Wreath

Need ideas to use up that summer pesto? Check these recipes out:
Breaded Pesto Bread
Pesto Palmiers
Chicken Pesto Lasagna Rolls
Turkey Pesto Burgers

Fresh Basil Pesto

Vitamin C is the key to keeping fresh homemade pesto a beautiful, vibrant green.


  • 1/2 500mg tablet Vitamin C (optional, but recommended)
  • 2 cups lightly packed basil leaves
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Juice of 1/2 a small lemon
  • 2 Tbsp pecans or walnuts
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, (or more to reach desired consistency)


  1. Using a small paring knife, carefully scrape the vitamin C tablet over the bowl of your food processor.
  2. Add basil, garlic, lemon juice and nuts to the bowl of your food processor and run until smooth.
  3. Stream in the oil with the processor running until you reach desired consistency.
  4. Add the cheese and a pinch of salt, pulse 2 or 3 times to combine.


Yields: ~1 1/4 cup

Adapted from Encyclopedia of Pasta Sauce

Estimated time: 10 minutes

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