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Classic Basil Pesto

Chef Colin Roche, PhD, MBA, CEC, CCE, FMP, CHE
Here is my recipe for classic pesto which is based on a Bon Appetit recipe from back in August of 2004
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Salad, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Italian
Servings 1 cup


  • 1 Food Processor
  • 1 Cheese Grater


  • 4 cups Fresh Basil Leaves about 3 large bunches
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil Extra Virgin if possible
  • 1/3 cup Pine Nuts toasted
  • 2 each Garlic Cloves
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese Freshly grated if possible
  • 1 tsp Salt Coarse salt, like Kosher, recommended


  • Combine first 4 ingredients in a food processor or blender and mix until a paste forms, stopping often to scrape the sides.
  • Add the grated cheese and the salt. Blend until smooth. Taste and correct flavor and consistency if needed.
  • Transfer to a small bowl or container, drizzle olive oil over the surface to keep it from drying out or changing color. Cover and chill in the refrigerator. Use fresh within a few days or freeze.