Herb Pesto

In the IPC Kitchen, pesto is used quite frequently to flavor just about everything we serve for lunch. Traditionally, a mortar and pestle were used to crush fresh basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, cheese, and olive oil. However, with the use of a food processor, you can easily prepare a delicious pesto with unlimited variations.

Here are some samples of food we prepare using herb pesto:

Pesto chicken and shrimp pizzas

Pesto chicken breast for sandwiches or to top on salads

Pesto added to remoulade for fried green tomatoes

To achieve creamy texture, process fresh herbs, kosher salt first, then add pine nuts, and olive oil.

Add a little mayo, sour cream, and prepared horseradish and you have fantastic sauce for sandwiches.

Fried green tomato BLT with pesto aioli.

Orzo salad mixed with pesto and fresh vegetables

Pesto Crusted Pork Loin

And pesto quiche

Pesto can be made and frozen in ice cube trays for easy use.

Print This Recipe

Herb Pesto
Makes 1 Cup

2 cups packed fresh herbs such as basil, cilantro, Italian parsley, or combination of these herbs
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, extra if freezing
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan or your favorite hard cheese
Freshly ground black pepper and extra salt, to taste

Combine the herb and kosher salt in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add garlic, pine nuts and process a few quick pulses. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with pepper and extra salt if needed.

If using immediately, add all the remaining oil and pulse until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl and mix in the cheese.

If freezing, transfer to an air-tight container or ice cube tray; drizzle a little oil over the top. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and stir in cheese.

Note: Try adding parsley to your basil pesto to give it a vibrant green color


  1. I love pesto! I would eat that gourgeous quiche right now!
    Great ideas!

  2. YUM! I'm getting ready to pull my basil and was thinking of making a bunch of pesto. I love the recipes you used it in...great ideas!

  3. Your church members don't know how lucky they are to have you prepare meals for them. I doubt any restaurant could do any better. I love pesto and all these dishes look fabulous.

  4. I love the combination of herbs. I have never done it that way and the next time I make pesto....this will be the recipe I use. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Thanks for all the ideas of how to use pesto! Also, I'm glad you said it is freezable--good to know.

  6. I love all the suggestions for using pesto! I wonder if my dying basil plant can be called upon for one more use. These look incredible!

  7. Thanks the suggestions on how to use pesto. Great ideas!

    Plan B

  8. I love pesto, especially on pizza. With shrimp. Yum. Thanks for all the great ideas. Making me hungry!

  9. Your truly stunning photos (and recipes) really brighten my day, thank you for the glowing art you share here!

  10. I just found your website through The Pioneer Woman. I can't wait to take a look at what you're doing!
    Chers! Leslie

  11. Yum! I love pesto. Those fried green tomatoes look really amazing!

  12. Kay, all your recipes look fantastic!

    I need to choose one for this weekend :)

    Thank you, by the way, for sojourning with me. I appreciate your comments and presence at my place!

    Blessings on your weekend,


  13. I LOVE pesto. Knowing that I'll have it every year makes growing basil so very rewarding. All of these dishes look wonderful.