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Simple Basil Pesto Recipe

Huge bags of fragrant, organic basil have been tucked into our last few CSA shares, along with hardneck garlic, so the natural solution is to make basil pesto. I’ve mostly been using it to top the delicious, juicy heirloom tomatoes we’ve also received, but I decided to top a grilled pizza with it the other night — divine!

Unlike many other pesto recipes, this particular recipe does not include Parmigiano-Reggiano, making it a little more budget friendly and an excellent choice for those on dairy-restricted diets. I use three large cloves of garlic because I like the extra bite, but you could easily cut it back to only one or two if you’re not quite as big a fan of it.

Be sure to choose a good quality olive oil because the quality and taste of it can make a huge difference in your prepared pesto.

Simple Basil Pesto Recipe

Simple Basil Pesto Recipe

Yield: 1/3 cup
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes


  • 2 cups fresh basil, packed
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 large pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice


  1. Place basil, garlic, pine nuts, and salt in a food processor.
  2. With the food processor running, gradually drizzle in the olive oil.
  3. Add the lemon juice with the processor still running, and process until smooth.

How much did you LOVE this recipe?

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Royanna Williams

Saturday 8th of October 2011

thanks so much. can't wait to try


Wednesday 28th of September 2011

I actually used one of their crusts last night. They aren't exactly cheap, but they taste great. I thought maybe that is what you used. Thanks for sending the link for the grilled pizza - I must have missed that post.


Wednesday 28th of September 2011

Tara, I would like to know how you made the pizza. I have never grilled a pizza - mostly because I don't know what I am doing. What kind of crust did you use? Thanks! Melissa

Tara @ Unsophisticook

Wednesday 28th of September 2011

Hi Melissa! I actually took a shortcut and used the Mama Mary's Thin & Crispy Pizza Crusts that you can pick up at Walmart. I usually make my crusts from scratch, but these were phenomenal!

You can read more on my other blog:

Amy K

Wednesday 7th of September 2011

I'm so glad I've found your recipe, as my kids have a new found love of pesto on their sandwiches, paninis, etc. Thank you for posting!


Tuesday 6th of September 2011

I don't know what to say except this looks so good I'm already hungry for dinner...and it's only 10 in the morning here. Yumm!


Friday 23rd of September 2011

I am with you Marly, but it is only 8 a.m. here right now... and now I want to eat.