Winter Basil Pesto at The Little Shop of Olive Oils

Winter Basil Pesto Recipe


  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • A pinch of nutmeg (for that winter warmth)


  • In a dry skillet, lightly toast the pine nuts over medium heat until golden brown, stirring occasionally to ensure even toasting. This should take about 3-5 minutes. Once toasted, remove from heat and let them cool.
  • Wash the basil leaves and pat them dry. It's important they're completely dry to prevent the pesto from becoming watery.
  • In a food processor, combine the basil leaves, toasted pine nuts, and minced garlic. Pulse a few times to chop and blend the ingredients.
  • While the food processor is running, slowly drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil in a steady stream. This will help emulsify the pesto and incorporate the oil evenly.
  • Add the grated Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg. Pulse again until everything is blended into a smooth paste. If the pesto is too thick, you can add more olive oil until you reach your desired consistency.
  • Taste the pesto and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Sometimes a little extra cheese or a pinch more salt can really enhance the flavors.
Your Winter Basil Pesto is ready to be served! Toss it with your favorite pasta, spread it on sandwiches, or swirl it into a warm soup for a comforting winter meal.
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