Pesto My Moms Way



  1. Combine basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts and salt in a food processor and process until finely minced.
  2. With the machine running slowly dribble in the oil and process until the mixture is smooth and reaches desired consistency. Add a teensy bit (about 1/2 teaspoon) of fresh lemon juice if you like lemon. If not, skip it. 
  3. Add the cheese and process very briefly, just long enough to combine. Use immediately or store in refrigerator (up to five days) or freezer.


  •  Dry or limp basil leaves that have been too long off the plant will not work well. Make sure the basil is very fresh. If you grow basil, water it well, let the roots and leaves soak up the water, and harvest the basil when it looks its healthiest, preferably in the morning.
  • I freeze pesto in ice cube trays. Once frozen I pop the cubes out and store in the freezer in zip-top bag. Pesto will stay fresh in the freezer for about six months.
  • Making pesto is not an exact science. Add the amount of garlic, olive oil, cheese and salt to suit your taste and texture preference. 

Recipe by Empty Nest Eats at