Homemade Fresh Basil Pesto - My Style

No more store bought pesto! This homemade version of fresh basil pesto will completely change your world of Pesto n Pasta!

FIVE main ingredients, processed together to the most versatile and vibrant Basil Pesto Sauce! 
Let me tell you if you're still using the store-bought pesto, believe me, this homemade version of pesto will be a revelation with its fresh ingredients and the best olive oil. 

Though there are many types of pesto ruling over these days, let's stick to the basic Italian version, with my personal spin! 

The Basic Recipe 

Fresh Basil Leaves
Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Fresh Garlic pods
Parmigiano Reggiano cheese(Fresh Parmesan)
Toasted Pine Nuts
Toss everything in the food processor. Pulse a few times. Add more olive oil and cheese. 
Done and done!
<Adding salt and freshly ground black pepper is completely optional>

My variations  - 

Blanch Basil Leaves. 
Yes! in the exactly same manner we do with spinach leaves while making the exotic Indian 'Palak Paneer' recipe. 
Prepare a bowl of ice water. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Put the basil and parsley in a sieve and plunge it into the boiling water, pushing the leaves down into the water and stirring them so they blanch evenly. Blanch for 15 seconds, then plunge the herbs into the ice water to stop the cooking. Drain immediately. Dry the leaves on kitchen towel for 10 minutes, then roughly chop 

Roast or 'stir-fry' Garlic in olive oil 
You can roast garlic pods in oven, or,
Put a small/medium-sized frying pan on medium/low heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil. Add chopped garlic. Stir Fry till it turns light brown. Remove from heat

Always add 'nicely' toasted Pine-nuts
Put a small frying pan on medium/low heat. Add the pine nuts and continuously toss and stir them until they’re slightly brown and fragrant. Let few of them get dark in color, no offense

Use heavy weight Mortar and Pestle instead of food processor
I still remember how 'Nani Maa' (Grandma) used to make green chutneys in mortar and pestle. Never got that taste and texture in food processor or blenders. 

If adding salt and pepper, always add just before giving the last pulse
Just like all other Indian chutneys, always add salt and pepper in the last churn. According to my Mum, salt and freshly ground pepper should always be cooked or churned for a lesser period of time. better to add at the finishing point. Good for all Indian curries too 

When making Basil Pesto at home, you can control exactly how runny or thick you want your pesto to be. Just be sure to add more olive oil until your desired consistency is reached. If, by mistake, you over-churn your pesto, without any worries, add more of cheese and olive oil, without churning anymore.


  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (Parmesan)
  • Kosher/Pink salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup unfiltered extra virgin olive oil


  1. To make the pesto, prepare basil, pine nuts and garlic as mentioned above. 
  2. Combine basil, garlic, pine nuts and tablespoon of olive oil in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times. 
  3. With the motor running, add cheese and olive oil in a slow stream until emulsified; set aside. 
  4. Add salt and freshly ground pepper, if desired. 
  5. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 
  6. Add more olive oil on the top before closing the lid. 


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