Classic Pesto with a Few Twists
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 cup
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup pine nuts (or seeds)
  • 2 cups packed fresh basil
  • ½ cup packed fresh parsley
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast)
  • ⅔ cup, approx., extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch salt
  • Pepper to taste
  1. Purée chopped garlic in a food processor or with mortar and pestle. Add nuts (or seeds) and grated cheese (or nutritional yeast) and continue to pulse or grind until you have a coarse paste.
  2. Add greens, pulsing or grinding with pestle, scraping down the sides as you go, until greens break down into thick green paste. Season with salt. This will obviously take longer with a mortar and pestle. Pulsing in a food processor takes just a few minutes whereas a mortar and pestle can take up to 10 minutes.
  3. With food processor running, drizzle in olive oil until incorporated or add olive oil into mortar. Stir in with pestle until paste forms. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary.
  4. Store in an airtight container with a drizzle of olive oil over top or with a layer of plastic wrap touching the surface of the pesto. Both methods help to prevent oxidation, which will discolour the top layer of pesto.
  5. Homemade pesto will keep in the fridge for up to a week or freeze in smaller storage containers or ice cube trays for up to 4 months.