Summer is winding down and that means plenty of fresh herbs and produce ripe and ready for harvesting. This hearty Pine Nut Pesto is a great way to use up a healthy crop of basil. It’s easy to prepare, freezes well, and oh yeah it’s a delicious a versatile sauce!

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Yields: 2 - 3 servings

1.5 oz fresh basil, stems removed (about 3 cups loosely packed) 
½ cup olive oil
½ tsp balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup pine nuts
½ tsp salt 



  1. Add basil to a high-power blender or food processor. Pulse until leaves are finely chopped. Add olive oil, balsamic, and garlic and blend on high for 30 – 60 seconds until sauce is well combined. Add pine nuts and salt and blend on high for an additional 30 – 60 seconds. Pesto should be very smooth and creamy, and oil should not separate out from mixture. 



  • There are TONS of pesto variations out there! This variation has double the pine nuts of traditional pesto which I find lends a hearty, nutty flavor to the sauce. And while most pesto recipes include parmesan cheese, I prefer to add the cheese to my meal once it’s complete. 

  • Don’t hesitate to experiment with this recipe! Add red pepper flakes to make it spicy. Increase the olive oil to thin the sauce. You really can’t mess up pesto so don’t be nervous about making it your own.

  • About kale pesto: There seems to be a feeling that kale pesto is somehow healthier than traditional pesto. Sorry but that’s false. Basil is a full sun herb which means it’s extremely hearty with rich dark green leaves and tons of anti-oxidants to protect it from the sun’s rays. It’s just as nutritious as kale! If you like kale in your pesto, then go for it. But the basil-based version is plenty healthy as it is.