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Fresh Basil Pesto

Important note!
Often in the winter months you can't find fresh basil and obviously it's not growing on our deck then, SO my friend Mary Jo gave me a great idea:  just get a bunch of spinach along with however much basil you have and make it that way!  So now I make huge batches of this (and increase the other pesto ingredients so the flavor is still good) and freeze for later.  
Author: Kelly the Kitchen Kop


  • One big handful of basil
  • A handful of parsley , if desired (I usually throw some in)
  • If you have a lemon balm plant in your yard like we do, you could add those leaves!
  • About 1 Tablespoon of your favorite balsamic vinegar , doesn't have to be exact OR juice from one lemon
  • A couple glugs of olive oil , about 1/4 cup or so, depending on the consistency you want — remember some olive oil is NOT good for you, click here to read more about how to be sure you're getting the real thing -- I'll often use part olive oil and also part avocado oil since the flavor is more mild.
  • A few shakes of sea salt , about 1/4 teaspoon
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic
  • Optional: chopped tomatoes I used grape tomatoes from our garden
  • Optional: If you're making a a Caprese salad, add small pieces of fresh mozzarella (the soft kind from the deli section at the store), or if you’re making bruschetta, add about 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan


  • First I grabbed a big handful of basil and parsley from our pots on the deck.  You’ll need more than a handful for a bigger batch – I started small since I didn’t know how it would turn out, and the amounts below are what I used for that one handful.  (Update, lately I'll make a BUNCH at once and keep using it in different ways as mentioned above!)
  • I used my mini food processor to grind it up small, throw the garlic in there too.  (For bigger batches, use your regular sized food processor.)
  • I transferred it to a bowl and added balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and sea salt.  Mix well.  (See my resources page for a quality brand and mild-tasting olive oil.)
  • Add chopped tomatoes and mozzarella or if you’re making bruschetta, shredded parmesan.
  • Serve any of the ways mentioned above, and enjoy!  (Also, see the pesto we made for fish– so good!)