Apr 04 2011

Processing, Take 1: Pesto

Posted by Seth in Food

Thanks to a Kohl’s 30% off coupon, and a big sale, I picked myself up a nice Cuisinart Food Processor. I was going to pick up a stand mixer but I first consulted Lee and we figured it would be better to loan each other big ticket kitchen items like this, instead of buying each for ourselves.  Makes sense to me.

Cuisinart Food Processor

I had an extra ridiculous amount of Basil due to a restaurant supply addiction, and an itch to use the food processor, so it is Pesto time.  Pesto is a simple, fresh tasting spread or sauce, and has countless uses.  It’s SO easy to make and have ready fresh for a meal.

Pesto ingredients before processing


  • 4 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1 cup grated parmesan (romano will do)
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2/3rds cup pine nuts (apparently you can substitute walnuts, I will next time – pine nuts are EXPENSIVE!)
  • 6 cloves minced garlic


  • If your pine nuts and garlic are not chopped, toss them in the food processor and give it a few pulses to chop them
  • Add the basil and garlic, and turn the processor on.  Slowly add the olive oil through the feed tube until it is all in there, stopping when necessary to scrape the sides of the processor. You want to make a puree so keep going until you get there.
  • When it’s done, add the cheese and pulse a few times

Makes: 2 cups, eh, maybe a little more than that. Nothing is exact with my cooking, you should know that by now.

Press some buttons and pour in oil, voila, pesto


Air is the enemy of Pesto.  Leave it out and watch it turn funny colors in a few minutes.  If you are going to freeze it, some say to leave out the cheese, but I didn’t do that and it’s fine.  What I did do though, was pipe it into ice cube trays and covered closely with plastic wrap. When frozen, I transferred to my trusty vacuum sealed bags and they will be in the freezer until called upon.

Piped into ice cube tray and ready for the freezer (don't forget to cover with plastic wrap)


Now that you have all this Pesto, what are you going to use it for? I highly recommend using it minutes before you are ready to eat it, here are some thoughts that come to my mind

  • Pesto spread on some nice crusty Italian bread
  • Pesto on some DIY pizza
  • Pesto on pasta…  that’s an easy one
  • Marinade for Chicken
  • the list goes on…