Go Back

Basil Pesto

Leigh Belanger
The uses for this ubiquitous condiment are many—but spreading it on chewy bread for a pizza-inspired grilled cheese is one of our favorites.

Makes about 1 cup


  • ¼ cup toasted walnuts skins removed
  • 1 large clove garlic peeled and crushed
  • 3 packed cups basil leaves roughly chopped or torn
  • Scant ½ cup parsley leaves optional
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese finely grated
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste


  • Pulse walnuts and garlic in a food processor until roughly chopped. Add basil and parsley (if using), and pulse again until a coarse paste forms. Add olive oil in a slow stream, pulsing as you go, until combined.
  • Transfer to a bowl and stir in cheese and lemon zest. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.