Pesto | ChopChop


You can make pesto out of any combination of fresh herbs, nuts, cheese, and oil that you could grind in a mortar—the word pesto actually refers to the pestle you’d do that with. But this is the traditional Italian pesto of basil, pine nuts, garlic, and Parmesan. It’s good on pasta, of course, but it’s also great on sandwiches or pizza, or stirred into scrambled eggs, salad dressing, or even soup.

Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Makes: 1 Cup

Kitchen Gear: 

Measuring cup
Measuring spoons
Salad spinner (if you have one)
Food processor
Rubber spatula


large bunch fresh basil
1 clove
garlic, peeled
1⁄3 cup
pine nuts or almonds, or lightly toasted pecans or walnuts
1⁄3 cup
Parmesan cheese
1⁄4 cup
olive oil
2 tablespoons
warm water


  1. Pull the leaves off of the basil stems. Discard the stems and wash the leaves really well in a sinkful of cold water. Pull them out and drain them in a colander, then dry them in a salad spinner, if you have one, or between clean dish towels. You should have about 2 to 21/2 cups of packed leaves.
  2. Put the basil, garlic, pine nuts and cheese in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Put the top on tightly and process until it is well chopped. Stop and use the spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl if everything is getting stuck there.
  3. Very, very gradually add the olive oil, at first one tablespoon at a time, gradually increasing the amount. Add the water, one tablespoon at a time, and process until it is chunky-smooth.