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My Perfect Homemade Pesto

Preparation 15 min Total Time 0:15



  • 1/2 cup pine nuts or shelled walnut pieces
  • 6 garlic scapes, cut into 1/2-inch segments OR 2 large garlic cloves
  • 6 gently packed cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese


  • Toast the walnuts in a small, dry pan over medium heat until they are fragrant and a little darker brown than they started out (3 to 5 minutes). Let cool slightly and pour into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment.
  • Add the garlic scapes or cloves, basil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice and process just until a thick paste forms. Stop to press any stray or stubborn basil leaves into the whirling action of the blade as necessary.
  • With the motor running, pour the olive oil through the feed tube in a slow stream. Add the grated cheese to the bowl and process for a few seconds more to incorporate.


Recipe Notes


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