Recipe Image

Basic Basil Pesto

  • 20 m
  • 20 m
EatingWell Test Kitchen
“Simplicity reigns in this traditional sauce—just basil, garlic, cheese and olive oil. Our one modification? We like omega-3-laden walnuts in the mix for their crunch and delicate flavor, but pine nuts, almonds, pecans or even pistachios may be substituted for the walnuts.”


    • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves, (2-3 bunches)
    • ¼ cup walnut pieces, toasted (see Tip)
    • ¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
    • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons water
    • 1 large clove garlic, quartered
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper


  • 1 Place basil, walnuts, Parmigiano-Reggiano, oil, water, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor; pulse a few times, then process until fairly smooth, or to the desired consistency, scraping down the sides occasionally.
  • Tip: To toast walnuts: Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and lightly browned, 7 to 9 minutes.
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