Pesto Tips and Recipes

Pesto Tips and Recipes

The lovingly illustrated food blog Lobstersquad's list of tips for preparing and storing pesto inspired me to hunt down a few pesto recipes.

Gourmet's recipe is pretty typical and easy to make, but if you have more time and patience it is probably worth following Heidi's suggestion and making pesto like an Italian grandma -- chop chop chop and chop some more!

We like Tom Colicchio's straight-forward approach to green things, and have adapted his recipe below. This one's all about the basil.



  • Leaves from 1 large bunch basil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Pine nuts, toasted or sautéed (optional)


  1. 1.

    Place abut 4 cups ice cubes in large bowl; 2 quarts cold water. Put a large colander in bowl so it fills with ice water.

  2. 2.

    In a saucepan, boil 3 quarts water. Add garlic to water; cook for 30 seconds. Remove garlic with a slotted spoon. Add the basil; cook 15 seconds. Remove basil with a skimmer; place in ice water, and cool about 1 minute. Drain well, and squeeze excess water out of basil leaves.

  3. 3.

    Add basil and garlic to a food processor; chop. Transfer to a blender; blend on high while adding olive oil in a thin stream while the machine is blending. Add the Parmigiano; process until blended. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and lemon juice, processing briefly to mix.