Fresh Basil Pesto

Every year, as the weather starts to heat up at the end of Spring, I buy a basil plant.  The abundant and hardy herb thrives in a colorful pot on our sunny windowsill and provides us with fresh basil all season long. I use large handfuls for fresh pesto, as an accent in summer tomato sauces and soups, and to add a fresh sweetness to Caprese salads and panzanella.

With Autumn slowly creeping in and our basil plant now on its last leg, I decided that the time had come to harvest the remaining leaves and make a fresh basil pesto. I combined the pesto with whole-roasted cherry tomatoes, pine nuts, and a dusting of Parmesan, all over whole-wheat spaghetti, for a flavorful, satisfying vegetarian dinner.


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Fresh Basil Pesto

  • Author: Fork Knife Swoon
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 15 mins
  • Yield: 2 Cups 1x


  • 2 cups fresh basil, packed
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 2 tbs fresh garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly-ground black pepper


  1. Add basil, Parmesan, pine nuts, garlic, salt and pepper to a food processor. Pulse to combine.
  2. With the food processor running, slowly add olive oil. Serve immediately with your favorite dish or store in a jar or air-tight container with a layer of olive oil on top for up to a week.


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  1. 9.26.12

    Simplicity at its perfection!

  2. 9.26.12
    Cherine said:

    This is so delicious!

  3. 9.26.12
    Shumaila said:

    Think I am going to make this tomorrow. Just made some fresh basil pesto the other day, and like the idea of serving it with whole roasted cherry tomatoes.

  4. 9.26.12
    Julia said:

    I love pesto! I usually make lots of it every year from the basil from my mother-in-law’s garden. Then I freeze it and use it throughout the year.

Hi! I'm Laura, the food-obsessed cook, writer, and photographer behind Fork Knife Swoon, where you'll find mostly sweet, seasonal recipes and stories from my Northern Virginia kitchen.

All photography and content copyright Laura Bolton ©2021.