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Basil Pesto

Basil is a member of the mint family. It can be used dried or fresh in many recipes. The Basil Pesto recipefeatures fresh basil. Basil grows beautifully in containers in a sunny location, or in your garden. Basil can also be purchased fresh at your local supermarket. Find some fresh basil today and start making pesto soon!


  1. 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  2. 2 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts
  3. 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  4. 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, cubed or grated

Preparation Steps

  1. Rinse fresh basil under cool running water. Pat basil dry on paper towels. Set aside.
  2. Toast pine nuts or walnuts until lightly brown on a baking sheet. They toast very quickly, usually in a minute or so. Do not allow the nuts to burn! Add toasted nuts into food chopper with crushed garlic. Add parmesan cheese and fresh basil. Add olive oil. Pulse or blend until the mixture becomes a smooth well blended paste. Pesto is ready to be tossed into pasta, spread on a pizza crust instead of tomato sauce, or can be frozen for later use.

NOTE-This recipe and video was created in collaboration with Alice Henneman, MS, RD, Extension Educator, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.