The Best Basil Pesto Recipe

Now that the 4th of July holiday weekend has past, it is absolutely safe to say we are in the full swing of SUMMER. There is no doubt first signs of summer are exciting and most welcomed. In the kitchen, the cooking repertoire explodes with an abundance of color and aromas with fresh fruits, vegetables, tomatoes and herbs. For me utilizing the beauty and variety of what Mother Nature has provided keeps cooking simple, quick and embraced by all that gather around the table.

Walking the garden this morning provided proof of the past week of sunshine and 90 degrees plus weather has worked its magic, the various heirloom tomato plants easily have grown a foot and the vines once covered in blossoms are now weighted and hanging low with fruit in varying stages of ripeness. In the herb garden, the “KING” of summer stands tall – Genovese Basil!

There is no doubt one of my favorite and simplest dishes to make is BASIL PESTO!   Just over a handful of ingredients, each of them unique and bursting with its own stand-alone flavor. However, once combined they deliver arguably one of the culinary world’s most symphonic flavor profiles.

Needless to say I did a little trimming in the garden and today it is all about Basil Pesto.


 Yield: Makes about 2 cups


6          cups                           Fresh basil leaves only

4          cloves                         Garlic (1 tbsp. minced)

1/2      cup                              Pine nuts, toasted

1 ½      cup                              Extra virgin olive oil

1 ½      Tbsp.                          Grated Parmesan cheese

To taste                                  Salt and pepper

1/8      tsp                              Citric Acid


  • In a food processor, puree the basil, and garlic while slowly adding 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • When the mixture is ground together, add remaining ingredients.
  • Add the Parmesan cheese last.
  • Process just until the cheese is blended in. 


Basil, must first be rinsed well and dried. Be sure to remove all moisture to avoid oxidation and loss of the vibrant green color.



Submitted by Layer Cake Wines fan, Michael Laukert