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The perfect pesto recipe, and how to prevent that pesto from oxidizing (going brown) quickly

Who doesn’t enjoy a good pesto? It’s delicious, versatile, and easy to make. Plus, you can make a pesto from about anything. My favorite is the traditional basil pesto, but have also had both arugula and spinach pesto (both of which were unite enjoyable). My pesto recipe has been heavily influenced by Ina Garten, but I like to take the extra step of blanching my basil (just for a few seconds). This will help prevent your pesto from oxidizing and turning brown too quickly.

Edgy tip! Always use a good processor to make your pesto. If you use a blender the basil will become smashed and brown much faster. It will also have a more paste like texture. If you don’t have a good processor I’d go with a knife, then a mortar and pestle.


1/8 c pine nuts
1/4 c walnuts
1/2 garlic
2 c basil leaves
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/2 c parmesan
1 c olive oil


1. Begin by rinsing off your basil in cold water while bringing a pan of water to a boil.
2. Working quickly, drop your basil into the boiling water, then turn off the heat. Wait about five seconds, then remove the basil from the hot water, and immerse in a iced water bath to halt the cooking process.

3. Spin the blanched basil in a salad spinner, or pat dry with paper towels.

4. Assemble your food processor and begin by pulsing your pine nuts and walnuts.

5. Chop garlic into smallish/medium chunks. Sprinkle the garlic with a little kosher salt while chopping.

6. Add garlic to nut mixture in the food processor, and pulse a few times.

7. Add blanched basil, parmesan, salt, and peppers. Pulse a few more times until broken up.

8. Gradually add olive oil while pulsing. You may need more or less than a cup of oil depending on how well you dried your basil after blanching.
9. Be sure to scape down the sides of your food processor to ensure an even texture throughout.

10. Store pesto in an air tight container, even if you plan to use it in the near future. If you plan to freeze, drizzle the top with olive oil, cover with saran wrap, then press down so that the plastic is in contact with the surface of the pesto.

Pesto sauce makes for a delicious pizza! Use my no fail pizza crust recipe, then top with pesto and mozzarella.

You could also add sliced tomatoes or artichoke hearts to your pizza. I don’t like too many toppings on my pizzas though, and trust me, this pesto is delicious enough that you don’t need much else besides it on your pizza.

2 Trackbacks

  1. […] of making a tomato basil sauce, I wanted to use up some pesto I made for an earlier meal. I did sear up some tomatoes though, which added an interesting kick of […]

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