Basil Pesto

Carol Williams-Deacon


2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese


Toasting Pine Nuts:

In a dry skillet over medium-low heat add pine nuts and toast until fragrant and lightly browned. Remove from heat and transfer to a small bowl to cool.

Note: Pine nuts are full of rich oil and will burn quickly if you do not watch them carefully and closely.

For the Pesto:

Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of olive oil and process until smooth and fully incorporated. Season with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper. Pulse again and taste for seasoning and adjust according to taste.

If using immediately, add the remaining olive oil and pulse until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl and mix in the cheese.

Note: If freezing, transfer to an air-tight container and drizzle remaining oil over the top. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and stir in cheese.




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