Some of our favorite pizzas use a basic basil pesto instead of traditional red sauce. It’s a completely different flavor and goes with so many delicious toppings. Since we’ll be posting some of those favorite pizza recipes in the near future, we thought we’d share our favorite easy basil pesto recipe with you first!
You can buy pesto from the store, but in almost every case it’s cheaper and much tastier to make your own from scratch. To get the best possible flavor from a store-bought pesto, never buy it jarred in the grocery section – always get it refrigerated because it hasn’t been heated. You can tell by the color if it’s good or not – bright green means you’re good to go, if it’s a dull grey color it’s been heated and won’t taste nearly as good.
If you’ve been intimidated in the past by making fresh pesto at home, you shouldn’t be – all you need is a few ingredients and a food processor or magic bullet and you’re literally a minute or two away from fresh, flavorful pesto ready to use!
We like to grow our own basil in the summer and make this pesto by the quart – then we simply freeze it and it’s ready to use all year round. This recipe is for just a small amount, but you could easily double or triple it if you want to freeze some.
Lastly, pine nuts can be expensive so we like to buy them in large quantities and freeze them (for freshness sake) to keep the costs down. As an alternative, we have used blanched, slivered almonds in a pinch – they are much cheaper and you really can’t tell the difference!
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, washed
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 pine nuts (or blanched, slivered almonds)
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- Put all of your ingredients in a magic bullet or small food processor. Pulse until fully combined and not quite smooth. Refrigerate for up to one week - freeze if keeping longer.
Don’t forget to enter our January Giveaway for your chance to win a Blackstone 1575 Outdoor Oven!