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  • Writer's picturehungryhungryhayden


Updated: Dec 1, 2020


Basil, frozen- a lot, like buy in bulk a lot. Buy it fresh then freeze it, the ice crystals help break down the cell wall and give the process a head start.

Pine nuts- need more than you’re comfortable with cuz deeze nuts are expensive

Olive oil- enough to make the emulsion and keep things moving

Garlic- raw, so start with 1 clove, taste, then adjust from there

Parmesan- 1 small hunk, grated, or if using a blender or food processor, just throw it in. But make sure there’s extra for snacking and to add more in later, if needed.

Black Pepper- to taste


1. Freeze the basil

2. Add frozen basil, pine nuts, garlic, black pepper, and hunk of parmesan to the bowl of a blender or food processor.

3. Pulse a few times to bring everything together.

4. Then puree streaming in oil until smooth

5. Taste, and adjust the flavors

6. Serve on pasta, smeared on bruschetta, mixed into mayo, or just eat it with a spoon

Substitutions and Additions:

1. Basil- basil is expensive. So for a more cost effective version, use half spinach half basil

2. Pine nuts- these are expensive too. You can substitute pistachios, almonds, or even sunflower seeds.

3. Olive oil- there’s just no good substitute for olive oil.

4. Garlic- there's no good substitution for garlic, but you can omit it if you're a heathen

5. Black Pepper- any dried spicy spice such as cayenne, dried chili flake, or something more exotic. Just add to taste, don’t nuke your taste buds

Alternate Techniques:

1. You could go grandma style and use a mortar and pestle. This technique requires a ton of elbow grease, so it’s not the most time effective, but it breaks down more cell walls, so the final product tastes more like basil


1. Chimichuri - Replace basil with 6 parts cilantro, 3 parts parsley, 1 part oregano. Omit the pine nuts and cheese. Add 1 part red wine vinegar for every 3 parts olive oil. Add half a shallot. Puree and serve over grilled meat or vegetables or dip crusty bread into it.

2. Sun dried tomato pesto- omit the basil and pine nuts. Add a whole jar of sundried tomatoes packed in olive oil. Serve by treating it like the pesto above.

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