Fresh Basil Pesto

The humble pesto is so versatile you should always have some in the pantry or fridge. Of course fresh will always taste better, but if you don’t have the time or ingredients for the recipe below, store-bought versions are still suitable. If I’m home late from uni and the cupboard is bare, I can always toss some pesto through pasta, tinned tomatoes and some olives to create a quick meal. Grated parmesan is a tasty addition, if there is some! Even a tin of salmon or tuna stirred through makes for a balanced meal with minimal cooking.

Fresh pesto is a perfect accompaniment to carrot or cucumber sticks, or crackers. You can also use it on a pizza base with spinach, pumpkin and pine nuts.

Perhaps try this on a weekend, or when you have time, to save time during the week.

Fresh Basil Pesto


  • 1 bunch of fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • Decent pinch of salt


  1. Remove the leaves from a bunch of fresh basil and put into a food processor with the salt, olive oil, parmesan, pine nuts and garlic.
  2. Process until pureed.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil to create a seal and store in a jar in the fridge for up to 5 days.

If you aren’t afraid of a little heat, try adding chilli to the pesto mixture for extra zing.


About The Author

Madeleine Baumgart

Accredited Nutritionist (AN)
Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD)
Credentialed Eating Disorder Clinician (CEDC)

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