Add the basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil and salt to a food processor.
Process everything until smooth, stopping as necessary to scrape down the sides of the bowl, about 1 minute. Stir in the Parmesan and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Pine nuts are a traditional ingredient in basil pesto, but you can also use walnuts, almonds, or pistachios if you have those to hand. You can also make it nut-free by omitting or substituting the pinenuts.
Use fresh garlic cloves rather than jarred for the best flavor.
Pulse the pesto, don't blend it. The coarse texture of the pesto clings better to pasta, chicken, or fish.
Stream in the oil using a steady pulse to keep the sauce together so the oil doesn't separate.
Keep the pesto refrigerated once you have made it.
You can also freeze it and add it to pasta, chicken, or fish for a quick & flavorful meal.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 165Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 3g15%
Vitamin A 567IU11%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.