Simple Pesto

Don’t you love things that are simple? Filling a vase with flowers. Smiling at a stranger. A great cup of coffee on a cold morning. Simple things can make your life full! This simple pesto is an easy recipe, full of flavor with not a lot of effort. I love that too!

Of course, it helps my basil plants are more prolific than a pair of bunny rabbits right now. I harvested five cups of fresh basil and it didn’t make a dent! (Does anyone need basil? Please?!? ) These are very happy plants!

Simple Pesto

My OXO measuring cup makes it easy to know exactly how much basil to pick too! See, simple.

A mix of toasted walnuts and pine nuts gives this pesto a rich, almost buttery flavor. I load up on the garlic too! It’s a nutty, garlicky pesto-y thing. Just go with it.

Simple Pesto

Toss everything in your food processor, add a bit of salt and pepper and you’re ready to go! As you’re processing, slowly drizzle olive oil into the mix until it reaches the consistency you like. This recipe makes a lot of pesto, so plan on freezing the portions you won’t be using immediately.

I made two pint jars and a half pint jar of easy pesto with this recipe. The half pint was gone almost as soon as it was made (eating pesto with a spoon is perfectly acceptable, right?) One jar went straight into the freezer and the other one we will use in several recipes over the next few days.

Simple Pesto

What can you do with this simple pesto? Enjoy it tossed with pasta, spread on pizza or grilled corn, use it in salads, with steamed veggies or even swirl some into your favorite hummus! It’s a simple recipe with countless options!

I love the idea of having fresh pesto to use later this winter too. My basil plants probably won’t be so abundant in the middle of January, but here in Southern California, you just never know!  I’ll keep you posted!

Simple Pesto


¼ cup walnuts (I use California Walnuts)
¼ cup pine nuts
6 cloves garlic, peeled
5 cups basil leaves, packed
1 tsp each, salt and cracked black pepper
1 ½ cups good quality olive oil, divided (I use Arbequina from California Olive Ranch)
1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese


  • In the bowl of your food processor, add the nuts, garlic, basil leaves, salt and pepper.
  • Turn on the food processor and process until thick, but smooth.
  • About two minutes, stopping every 30 seconds or so to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • With the processor still running, slowly add 1 cup of olive oil.
  • Add the cheese to the bowl, again taking time to scrape down the sides.
  • Turn the processor back on, add up to another ½ cup of olive oil (depending on how thick or thin you like your pesto)
  • Pour pesto into mason jars or freezer safe containers.
  • Use immediately.
  • Pesto will keep in the refrigerator up to one week, in the freezer up to three months.


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