Homemade pesto

A simple basil pesto that tastes so much better than the ready made pesto you buy in jars. Pesto is not only ideal for serving with pasta, It is also delicious served stirred through cold rice for a simple rice salad.
Course sauce
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Author Jacqueline Bellefontaine


  • 50 g pinenuts
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 75 g basil leaves washed
  • 30 g Parmesan cheese grated
  • about 125 ml olive oil extra virgin or
  • cold pressed rapeseed oil


  • Toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan until pale golden, shaking the pan frequently so that they do not burn. As soon as they are pale golden tip onto a plate and allow to cool.
  • Place the toasted pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, basil and cheese in food processor and blitz until finely chopped.
  • Add the oil and blitz again briefly to blend. Season to taste with a little salt.
  • That's it the pesto is now ready to use, alternatively transfer to a sterilized jar, level the top and pour over a little extra oil to cover. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.


You can use this basic recipe to make other flavoured pesto, such as rocket, watercress or coriander pesto, although this classic basil pesto remains my firm favourite.