Our pesto recipe is a versatile and elevates pasta, sandwiches, salads, pizza, and bread; this sauce is tasty and easy to make, and it’s ready in 15 minutes!
- ½ cup pistachios, toasted
- 5 cups basil, loosely packed
- ½ lemon, zest and juice
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper, coarse ground
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup parmesan, shredded, optional
WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE
- Olive Oil: Use high-quality olive oil if possible.
- Lemon: Lemon brightens the sauce.
- Pistachios: Toast pistachios beforehand to draw out their flavor.
- Basil: Use about four bundles of large leaf Italian basil.
- Garlic: I suggest using four cloves, but don’t let my recipe tell you how much garlic to use- go for it.
- Parmesan Cheese: For maximum flavor, use freshly shaven parmesan cheese or save yourself some time, and use pre-grated cheese.
- Spices: Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
HOW TO MAKE PESTO
Add the remaining ingredients, apart from the olive oil, to the food processor and blend until smooth.
Stir the olive oil into the mixture and store the leftover in an air-tight container.
Did you enjoy this recipe for pesto?
Pair it with one of these favorites from the Jamil Ghar!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is pesto made out of?
Tradition pesto includes basil, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, salt, and hard cheese.
What does pesto taste like?
Pesto gets its bright green color and herby flavor from fresh basil. Garlic and cheese add salty richness to make a tasty sauce you’ll crave.
How can I use this sauce?
- Pasta Sauce
- Wrap or Sandwich Spread
- Pizza Sauce
- Vegetable, Poultry or Fish Topping
- Salad Dressing
- Dip for Bread and Vegetables
What can I add to the pesto recipe?
- Nuts: I use pistachios, but change it up and use pine nuts, walnuts, almonds, pecans, or cashews.
- Greens: In addition to basil, add other leafy greens like kale, arugula, spinach, or watercress.
- Add Flavor: Take pesto up a notch by changing the flavor profile a bit; use roasted red peppers, jalapeños, or sun-dried tomato.
- Go Nut-Free: Instead of using nuts, try adding pepitas, chia, or hemp seeds.
- Make it Vegan: Use nutritional yeast in place of cheese.
How should I store leftover pesto?
To maintain the bright green color, wrap the sauce tightly so that the plastic wrap touches the top of the pesto and is not exposed to the air.
Did you know you can also freeze pesto sauce? For easy use later on, spoon the pesto into an ice tray, crack them out, and add them to a reusable bag.