Quick & Easy Nut-Free Basil Pesto

What to do with all of that fresh basil? Make this pesto in about 5 minutes.

To make this quick and easy pesto (it takes about 5 minutes), you will need:

  • 2 cups of basil, washed, dried and packed
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ¼ cup of olive oil 
  • ½ cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

The key to success with this recipe is using fresh, quality ingredients — harvesting your homegrown basil will give the best results.* Choose the lush green leaves and it’s okay to add some of the softer stems of the plant, too (avoid the stems that are “woody”). When it comes to the Parmesan, grating the cheese fresh will give you the best flavours. 

Making this recipe is super simple — place all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until you have reached the desired consistency, adding a little more olive oil if needed. 

*Harvest early in the morning, after the dew dries, but before the day’s heat. Harvest herbs before they flower — leaf production and flavour decline when the flowers appear. 

Fresh basil gives pesto the most delicious flavour.

How To Use Homemade Pesto 

This nut-free pesto sauce is versatile. You can double or triple the batch and use it all week in various ways. You can use pesto sauce on:

  • Bread – on baguette toasts and on sandwiches
  • Pasta
  • Pizza 
  • Grilled chicken and fish 
  • Grilled and fresh vegetables 
Fresh Basil Pesto on toast with garden tomatoes.

How to Store Fresh Pesto 

Store pesto in an airtight, covered container in the fridge for up to a week, and know that may look a little brown the longer it has been in the fridge — that is part of oxidation, and it is still good to eat and will taste delish!

How to Freeze Homemade Pesto

Freeze in an ice cube tray and once frozen, remove from the tray and place in sealed freezer bags. When you are ready to use them simply pull out the number of cubes you will need and thaw.  

More Pesto Ideas 

Turn unused vegetable greens and herb scraps into a delicious pesto for sandwiches with this Green Goddess Sandwich with Kale Pesto.

Make this Spring Panzanella Salad with simple ingredients you already have at home.

Contrary to popular belief, the front yard variety of dandelion is completely edible, from the flower down to the root. Here’s how to turn dandelions into Dandelion Pesto.

The Harrowsmith Team
The Harrowsmith Team

Harrowsmith is the farm-to-condo go-to for living sustainably and simply. Our mission is to offer a down-to-earth Canadian perspective on topics of gardening, home and design, travel and culture, food, health, wellness and the environment.

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Posted on Wednesday, August 24th, 2022
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