The toasted pine nut

3 Ways to Toast Pine Nuts

Heat releases and intensifies the rich flavor of pine nuts, which is why the Black Cod with Pine Nuts, Tomatoes, and Olives recipe and the Pork Chops Stuffed with Pine Nuts and Herbs recipe, call for toasted nuts. There are three ways to go about toasting the nuts, each with its own pros and cons:

Oven
Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and bake at 375°F, stirring occasionally, until golden-brown, 5 to 10 minutes.
Pro: The color of oven-toasted nuts is evenly golden.
Con: You have to heat the oven. We tend to use this method only if we’re heating the oven for other reasons, too.

Toaster Oven
Spread the nuts on the baking sheet that came with the toaster oven and bake at 325°F, stirring frequently, until golden-brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
Pro: Produces results similar to those from a conventional oven, but a toaster oven heats up much faster and is more energy efficient.
Con: Closer proximity to the heating elements in a toaster oven increases the risk of burning the nuts, hence the need for more frequent stirring and a lower baking temperature.

Skillet
Put the nuts in a dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until golden in spots, about 3 minutes.
Pro: The quickest and most convenient method.
Con: The nuts develop spotty, uneven color and burn more easily than with the two oven methods.

More on Pine Nuts – Read Tiny Pine Nuts Play a Big Role in Cooking to learn more about how pine nuts can add flavor and texture to everything from pasta to cookies.

How to Toast Pinenuts

I really like to incorporate nuts in my cooking, and pinenuts are among my favorites. I first used them in making fresh pesto, but soon after, I started throwing them in all kinds of recipes. Like most nuts, pinenuts really benefit from a quick toast, and in this cooking video, I’m going to show you how to do it. Toasting pinenuts (and any nut really) brings out the natural oils and gives them more flavor and aroma. They can also really improve the texture, making them more crunchy. And it’s really easy to do. Hope you find this cooking technique useful!

How to Toast Pinenuts

  • I usually toast all nuts in a dry pan on top of the stove, rather than the oven, but you can certainly do them in the oven – it just takes about 15 minutes longer
  • Heat a pan over medium heat for a couple minutes and add the pinenuts
  • You don’t need anything else, no oil, no salt, no pepper
  • Allow the pinenuts to toast for 30 – 45 seconds, and then toss them in the pan
  • Let them go another 30 seconds or so, and then toss again
  • Repeat this process until you start seeing them just brown, then remove them let them cool
  • Be careful, not to burn them. They can go from nicely browned to burnt, very quickly, so I suggest you stick around, rather than walking away for a couple minutes

Once cooled, you can use them however you’d like. Enjoy!

3 Most Simple and Effective Methods on How to Toast Pine Nuts

As in case of many other nuts, toasting brings out the flavor in pine nuts. Here are some tips to toast these nuts properly.

Pine nuts are the edible seeds of the pine tree, and are found inside their cones. Though they can be used in raw form, toasted pine nuts are preferred for their rich nutty flavor. They can be used in recipes, like hummus, pesto sauce, etc. You may toast these nuts on stove top, or in the oven, or in a microwave.

On Stove Top

Take the required amount of pine nuts in a skillet or a dry non stick pan. Place the pan on the stove top, over medium heat. There is no need to add oil or cooking spray. If you want to toast pine nuts for preparing hummus, then you may add some olive oil. Stir the nuts continuously, so as to prevent uneven toasting. As the nuts start turning brown, remove them from heat. Your toasted pine nuts are ready for use.

In the Oven

Take a cookie sheet or a cake pan with rim. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Spread the pine nuts on the cookie sheet, in a single layer. Bake for five minutes, and remove from the oven. Shake the cookie sheet, so that the nuts get rearranged. Return the cookie sheet to the oven, and bake for another five minutes, or till the nuts turn golden brown.

In Microwave

Put the pine nuts in a paper bag. Close the paper bag, and place it in the microwave. Cook the nuts in medium heat for a minute or two, and remove the bag from the microwave. Your toasted pine nuts are ready. You may also store the toasted nuts in air tight containers. Even unshelled nuts can be toasted in a microwave. Rinse the nuts and sprinkle salt over them. Put them in a paper bag, and place it in the microwave. Cook on high for a minute. Let them cool well, before you remove the shells. Place the nuts on a clean dish towel and press them with a rolling pin, so that the nuts can be separated from the shells.

Even unshelled pine nuts can be toasted in an oven. Wash the nuts and spread them on a cookie sheet, in a single layer. Place the cookie sheet on the upper rack of the oven that is preheated to 350° F. Bake the nuts for around 15 minutes. Don’t forget to stir them in between, so as to ensure even toasting. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven, and let the nuts cool for 10 minutes.

Like it? Share it!

How to Toast Pine Nuts – 3 Easy Methods! | with video

Learning how to toast pine nuts is an essential skill you’ll want in that cooking “tool box.” Knowing how to toast pine nuts will elevate your recipes that include pine nuts and take the flavor to the next level! You’ll learn three easy methods and what situations are best for each method!

Perfectly toasted pine nuts (aka pignoli) are a magical thing, aren’t they? I don’t get to experience their beauty and deliciousness as much as I’d like to since my kids have tree nut allergies, but it makes them that much more of a treat for me.

Let’s be real – they’re already a bit of a treat given their price tag, but oooooh are they worth it! Their presence can really elevate even the most simple dish, and their flavor cannot be replicated by any other ingredient. They’re especially great on salads (they go SO well with arugula!) and sprinkled on top of a creamy pasta recipe. They’re also fantastic on top of hummus, of course. I can’t have hummus in the house either (sesame allergy for my little man), but I’m not even joking when I say that I dream of silky hummus topped with perfectly toasted pine nuts and a drizzle of the best olive oil I can find. Toasting your pine nuts will also give an unreal depth of flavor to your homemade pesto – try it!

Moral of this story that is beginning to verge on a pity-party? Eat all the pine nuts for me and send me photos of your delicious creations topped with perfectly toasted pine nuts, okay? On Instagram, tag me #rachelcooksblog so I can see them!

BUT in case you don’t know how to toast pine nuts, I’m here to help. I’m going to cover three methods in this post and they’re all super easy! More often than not, I’ll use the stovetop method but any of these three methods work great. It also depends a little on how many you want to toast all at once – I’ll cover that as I go through the methods.

PS: If this seems super basic and simple to some of you, that’s great! You’re probably already killing it in the kitchen. However, when I did my reader survey, there was quite a bit of interest in basic cooking tutorials like this one, so I’m going to sprinkle them in here and there. Also, I have a recipe coming up for an amazing pasta salad and you’ll want perfectly toasted pine nuts in it, so I want to make sure you can nail that portion of the recipe!

Here we go!

How to Toast Pine Nuts: Three Ways

Method 1: How to Toast Pine Nuts on the Stove

This is my preferred method. After the microwave, it’s the quickest and it’s more reliable than the microwave. It is also possibly because I’m a control freak and this method gives you the most control and oversight of the process. On the flip side, it requires a little more hands-on time and monitoring. It works best for small – medium amounts of pine nuts (1/4 cup to 1 cup).

  • Place pine nuts in a dry (don’t add oil) frying pan large enough to hold them in a single layer.
  • Turn heat to medium-low and cook until fragrant and golden brown, keeping them moving (stir frequently or constantly).
  • When they’re golden brown, immediately transfer them to a plate to stop the cooking and prevent burning.

Method 2: How to Toast Pine Nuts in the Microwave

Yes, microwave! I often use the microwave to toast other types of nuts (well, I did before the nut allergies surfaced). For this method, make sure you have a microwave-safe plate! This method works best for small amounts of pine nuts (1/4 cup – 1/2 cup). You could probably manage up to a cup if you have a big enough plate and microwave, but you’ll want to have them in a single layer when they go into the microwave.

  • Spread pine nuts in a single layer on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave on full power for 1 minute, stir, and then continue to microwave and stir in 30 second intervals until golden brown.
  • Make sure to keep an eye on them, especially towards the end, because they can burn quickly. The microwave tends to heat unevenly so some can be untoasted while others burn if you’re not watching and stirring every 30 seconds.

Method 3: How to Toast Pine Nuts in the Oven

This is a great method if you want to toast a lot of pine nuts at once because you can spread them all out on a half sheet pan or a quarter sheet pan. You could do up to a couple cups of pine nuts. Similar to the microwave, you’ll want to have the pine nuts in a single layer so make sure you choose a large enough pan if you’re toasting a large quantity of pine nuts. If you’re toasting more than 2 cups of pine nuts at once, I want to come over. This method also yields the most even toasting and color on all the pine nuts.

  • Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  • Spread pine nuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Bake for 5-10 minutes, stirring every 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Immediately transfer to a plate to stop the hot pan from continuing to cook them.

Storage Notes:

Wondering how to store toasted pine nuts? It’s similar to the recommendation as storage of untoasted pine nuts. Here is my suggestion: Cool completely before moving to an airtight container (you don’t want any steam or condensation in the container or you’ll have soggy pine nuts!). Store at room temperature if you plan to use them within a week. If you wish to store them longer, move them to the fridge to prevent them from becoming rancid. Preferably, you’ll only toast what you’re going to use in the next few days. I store my raw pine nuts in the freezer to extend the shelf life and prevent them from becoming rancid. They’re too expensive to let them go rancid without using them!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raw pine nuts – see note

Instructions

Stove Top Method:

  1. Place pine nuts in a dry (don’t add oil) frying pan large enough to hold them in a single layer.
  2. Turn heat to medium-low and cook until fragrant and golden brown, keeping them moving (stir frequently or constantly).
  3. When they’re golden brown, immediately transfer them to a plate to stop the cooking and prevent burning.

Microwave Method:

  1. Spread pine nuts in a single layer on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave on full power for 1 minute, stir, and then continue to microwave and stir in 30 second intervals until golden brown.
  2. Make sure to keep an eye on them, especially towards the end, because they can burn quickly. The microwave tends to heat unevenly so some can be untoasted while others burn if you’re not watching and stirring every 30 seconds.

Oven Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  2. Spread pine nuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 5-10 minutes, stirring every 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown.
  4. Immediately transfer to a plate to stop the hot pan from continuing to cook them.

Notes

  • You can easily toast more pine nuts than 1/2 cup. If you toast more than 1 cup at a time, the oven method will work best.
Nutrition Information:

Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 tablespoon
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 57 Total Fat: 6g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 4g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 0mg Carbohydrates: 1g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 0g Protein: 1g RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietician. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice. Verdict: I could eat these by the handful!
Husband’s take: He loves hummus topped with lamb and pine nuts. And they MUST be toasted. That’s me speaking, but he would feel the same if he did a side-by-side taste test.
Changes I would make: Eat more pine nuts.
Difficulty: Easy!

Stove Top Method

Heat a frying pan on high heat. Add the nuts to cover pan in one layer. With your hands, sprinkle with a couple of tablespoons of water and cook until they begin to pop. Remove from heat and let nuts cool on a tray. For salted nuts, add a few tablespoons of salted water-about ½ teaspoon salt per tablespoon of water-when the nuts begin to pop. Cook until dry and the nuts pop again. Remove and cool.

Oven Method

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread nuts evenly on a foil-covered baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes or so, until they begin to pop. As they pop, stir them and cook another minute or two. Remove from oven and cool. For salted nuts, dissolve 1 teaspoon salt with 3 tablespoons water, and mix with nuts before baking. Nuts will pop once they dry out. Stir them at this point and bake another minute or two. Remove from oven and cool.

To Open the Nuts

Spread nuts on a wooden cutting board. With a rubber mallet or a meat mallet, chop the nuts with quick, careful blows, being careful to do it lightly enough not to crush the nut inside the shell.

Or, place nuts on a tea towel on the counter in a single layer. Cover with another tea towel, and continue as above to crush them with quick, light blows. The shells will stick to the towel, making nut removal easier.

How can I quickly shell pine nuts?

Hot Network Questions

  • Extent of “unscientific”, and of wrong, papers in research mathematics
  • Knowing whether to spell a word -ía or -ia
  • Why is Hunter Biden’s testimony in the impeachment trial relevant?
  • Are lower interest rates bad for the lending perspective of banks?
  • What is so bad about a bi-national one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
  • What is the design rationale behind hard content that’s limited to only a couple attempts per week?
  • Repeat every other character in string starting with second character
  • Why would you cancel a non-refundable hotel reservation?
  • Is “taking a limit” a function? Is it a procedure? A ternary operation?
  • Almost transferred model structures
  • Ubuntu 18.04: Is dynamic swap space sizing practical? Running out of memory crashed Ubuntu
  • Can I delay my turn to the end of a round, by not rolling for initiative?
  • Modern military equipment in a fantasy world
  • Can I publicly release plagiarised source codes someone gave me?
  • “Work in a power plant”, “work on a power plant” or “work at a power plant”?
  • My first Riley riddle, double Riley riddle
  • What is “das Schulabschlusszeugnis” in this context?
  • How is it possible that their are UV photos while our eyes cannot detect UV waves?
  • Why is it important for Israel that Palestine not be connected by land with Jordan?
  • What should a pilot flying IFR in IMC and on final, do if the vacuum system fails?
  • How to check if two arrays are equal even if they contain NaN values in Julia?
  • Paste a block in “replace” mode
  • Is there something specifically wrong with keeping the 8 precepts as a lay person?
  • UART signal is “rounded”

more hot questions

11 Cheap and Best Alternatives for Pine Nuts

With a sweet and subtle flavor, pine nuts are supposedly the fanciest amongst all the nuts. This refers to the high prices of these nuts. However, there are cheap alternatives to pine nuts, which will allow you to enjoy your favorite recipes without burning a hole in your pocket. Tastessence lists out pine nut substitutes for you to experiment with.

Did You Know?

Pine Mouth or Pine Nut Syndrome refers to the taste disturbance that people may experience after eating pine nuts. The bitter and metallic taste is said to last from a few days to a few weeks, but with no permanent effect. As there are no known remedies, people tend to use substitutes for pine nuts.

The smell of fresh basil aroma and our mind drifts off to the yummy Italian Pesto sauce. This delicious green sauce pairs well with different varieties of pasta. With basil, garlic, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese, there is another ingredient that makes the Pesto sauce what it is. That ingredient is pine nuts.

Pine nuts have become a must-have ingredient in culinary art as these nuts can be used in starters, main course, and desserts. These nuts taste good with any flavor ranging from sweet to sour. These buttery yet crunchy nuts are collected from female cones of pine trees. Two varieties of pine nuts―Italian pine nuts and Chinese pine nuts―are in high demand in the market. However, due to their intensive harvesting process and the labor needed, these nuts are expensive compared to the other kinds. A pound bag of pine nuts can cost around 60-120 USD; however, these prices aren’t stable always.

Making your favorite recipes with pine nuts shouldn’t be heavy on your wallet. Here, a question arises as to what is a good substitute for pine nuts then? Let us look at cheap alternatives to pine nuts that will let you enjoy your favorite dish without worrying about the expense.

Pine Nut Substitutes

Almonds

Almonds are considered as a good substitute for pine nuts. They both have a similar texture. However, almonds impart a comparatively subtle flavor. This rich textured and flavored nut works well in desserts. Roasting and silvering almonds intensifies the flavor.

Walnuts

Though they might taste little bitter in comparison with almonds, walnuts can be a suitable solution to replace pine nuts in your cuisine. Roasting and removing the skin will help reduce the bitterness. Chop, pound, or crush the walnuts, and add them in your favorite recipe instead of pine nuts.

Pistachios

Pistachio is the best substitute for pine nuts when you want to prepare Pesto sauce. Pistachios accentuate the green color of the sauce and give a sweeter taste to it. However, adding a little parsley balances the sweet taste of pistachio. This sweet and green nut definitely beautifies your dish.

Pecan Nuts

Pecans are more sweet-flavored and mild than walnuts, and therefore, they are preferred by people. They can substitute pine nuts in desserts and bread as well. Roasting them as per your need will make your dish more pleasing!

Hazelnuts

Though not as prevalent as pistachios and walnuts, hazelnuts can replace pine nuts in cooking. Experimenting with hazelnuts in Italian and Mediterranean cuisine will reward you highly! These nuts blend well with chocolate. Sprinkle chopped hazelnuts on your salad to enjoy the sweet crunch.

Peanuts

Peanuts are looked at as the cheapest substitute for pine nuts. Use unsalted or honey-roasted peanuts to add a pleasurable flavor to your dish. However, it is best to avoid if you are allergic to peanuts.

Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts are another great option, though not necessarily cheaper than pine nuts. With mint and parsley in the Pesto sauce, macadamia nuts work wonders! Macadamia nuts have a strong flavor than pine nuts. These rich and creamy nuts are easily incorporated in sweets and desserts.

Cashews

Cashew is considered as a close replacement of pine nuts. If you buy cashew nut pieces, it will be easy on your wallet than opting for whole cashew nuts. Roasting these nuts will boost their flavor. Try combining cashews, lemon zest, and raisins in your dishes for a peculiar sweet and savory flavor.

Non-nut Substitutes

Sunflower Seeds

If you are looking for a nut-free replacement for pine nuts, sunflower seeds are an option for you. These seeds will add some crunch to your sauce, salads, and other dishes. However, it might impart its grayish color to the food as well. For example, it might dilute the green color expected in Pesto sauce preparation.

Sesame Seeds

Though used rarely, sesame seeds can work as an alternative to pine nuts in desserts, salads, and sauces. Fried or roasted sesame seeds complement the food with their crispiness.

Pumpkin Seeds

Lots of recipes are available that use pumpkin seeds or pepitas instead of pine nuts. A great source of proteins and minerals, pumpkin seeds are the right choice if a person suffers from nut allergies.

There is no need to stop making your most loved recipes because it contains pine nuts. You can still devour your favorite dish by using a substitute for pine nuts. Happy cooking!

Like it? Share it!

Don’t Let The Price Of Pine Nuts Keep You From Pesto

Julia della Croce says pistachio pesto is an economical — and delicious — alternative when Italian pine nuts can cost up to $120 per pound. Nathan Hoyt/Courtesy of Julia della Croce hide caption

toggle caption Nathan Hoyt/Courtesy of Julia della Croce

Julia della Croce says pistachio pesto is an economical — and delicious — alternative when Italian pine nuts can cost up to $120 per pound.

Nathan Hoyt/Courtesy of Julia della Croce

Basil is growing thick and leafy in many backyard gardens throughout the U.S. right now, which means many people are thinking about pesto. It’s one of the more basic sauces you can make — in addition to basil, all you need is Parmesan or Romano cheese, a little garlic, some extra virgin olive oil and Italian pine nuts.

But if you’ve looked for them at the grocery store recently, you know those little Italian nuts sport a big price tag. Hungry bugs and warmer temperatures have severely diminished harvests. Now it’s not uncommon to see them selling for $60 to $120 a pound.

Julia della Croce, an expert in Italian cooking, says it’s a global problem.

“Even in Italy, where they’re also very expensive, they keep them under lock and key in the shops,” she says. “So even the Italians can’t afford them.”

More From Julia della Croce

Asian pine nuts are more available, but even those crops are suffering. They’re about half the price of the cheapest Italian pignolis, but della Croce says they are not as flavorful or aromatic. And buyer beware: The Asian-grown nuts are often sold in bulk but go rancid quickly because of their high oil content. Additionally, some consumers have also reported a long-lasting bitter aftertaste from eating them.

If you’re feeling ambitious and live in the American West or Southwest, you could collect your own pinyon pine nuts on most public lands that are managed by the Bureau of Land Management. You can harvest up to 25 pounds without a permit — but it’s labor intensive, another factor that’s driving up the price.

So what’s a frugal cook to do if they want to make several batches of pesto? Della Croce turned to pistachios as a colorful — and still nutty — alternative. She shared a recipe for All Things Considered’s Found Recipes series.

The idea came to her when she was reminiscing about a trip to Sicily. A particular area near Mount Etna grows a lot of pistachios.

“Very flavorful, delicious pistachios — and they were in everything,” she says.

Instead of using pistachios as a wholesale replacement for the pine nuts, she added some almonds and cut the basil with parsley to tone down the sweetness. She topped it all off with some extra virgin olive oil and a little cheese.

“I came up with the most delicious pesto,” she says. “In fact, I think I even prefer it to the original, and it’s beautiful because the pistachios are green.”

And when you’re only paying $14 a pound for pistachios by comparison, it doesn’t hit the pocketbook quite so hard.

Recipe: Fusilli With Pistachio Pesto

This pesto coats short macaroni cuts best, including fusilli, penne and gemelli. Fusilli are especially suitable because the coils trap the pesto nicely for an excellent ratio of sauce to pasta surface. Mind that when saucing pasta, it is essential to reserve about half a cup of the pasta cooking water before draining; you will need to blend a few tablespoons or possibly more with the pesto to loosen it up for an even coating.

Note: If the membrane of the pistachios don’t peel off easily after rubbing them with your fingers, blanch them in boiling water for about 1 minute. Drain, shock in cold water, and dry the nuts in a paper towel. Toast them lightly, and when they cool, peel off any skins that haven’t come off.

Serves 4 to 6

Pesto

1/2 cup shelled, peeled, unsalted pistachios, plus a handful, roughly chopped, reserved for scattering over each portion

3 tablespoons lightly toasted, blanched almonds

1 packed cup fresh basil leaves

1/2 packed cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

1/2 cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Freshly ground white or black pepper

Pasta

1 pound imported Italian fusilli or other pasta mentioned in recipe headnote

2 tablespoons kosher salt

3 tablespoons freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano or grana padano cheese, plus additional for the table

In a food processor, combine the pistachios, almonds, basil, parsley, olive oil, salt and pepper. Process, pulsing every few seconds until the mixture is blended but still has a slightly grainy consistency. Take care not to over-grind to avoid a paste-like result. Use a rubber spatula to transfer the pesto to a small mixing bowl. Press plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pesto and chill until you are ready to use it. For best results, use it within several hours of preparing.

If you need to make it far in advance, proceed as above, transfer the pesto to a freezer container and cover with a thin film of olive oil; press plastic wrap directly on the surface and seal the container. When ready to use, thaw and continue with the recipe as below.

Bring 5 quarts water to a rolling boil. Add the salt and the pasta at the same time. Cook precisely as indicated on the package directions. Just before draining, set aside 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta; while it is still dripping wet, return it to the pan. Add the pesto and the 3 tablespoons grated cheese, blending well with a wooden spoon and working in a few tablespoons of the reserved cooking water or more, if needed, to loosen up the sauce and coat the pasta evenly. Transfer to individual plates and scatter the chopped pistachios over each. Pass additional grated cheese at the table.

My nickname for Basic Pesto is Best-o Pesto. You might think that’s over-the-top until you taste it.

Pesto can be combined with many foods although it is usually combined with pasta. I also love eating it as a vegetable dip, an appetizer with crostini or as Pesto on Eggs (photo below).

Basil Pesto originated in Italy and derives from the Italian word pestare which means to crush or grind. Traditionally, garlic and pine nuts are ground, using a marble mortar and a wooden pestle, until smooth. Next, fresh basil and salt are added, and the mixture is ground until creamy. Then, and only then, Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino cheeses join in and everything is mashed until it turns into a gorgeous, glorious, green goddess of goodness. Although I’m sure it’s fantastic, I haven’t made it using the mortar and pestle method. I put my trust, and the ingredients, in my food processor. After all, that is why God created it.

Poor stripped basil plant. She sacrificed herself and now looks so cold.

I’m amazed how many foods I never tried as a child and how many I never prepared for my children. My parents and I aren’t to blame. Our world had never heard of foods like pesto, scallops, saffron, shallots, hazelnuts, molé sauce, naan, spaghetti squash and Gruyere cheese – just to name a few. Due to globalization, the Internet and around-the-clock cooking shows, culinary palettes have expanded and it’s a great thing. It’s so exciting to know there is a multitude of foods yet to experience.

One great thing about Basic Pesto is its versatility. I love it made with basil, but it can be substituted with other leafy greens or herbs like parsley, cilantro and baby spinach. Pine nut seeds are traditionally used in pesto and are delicious, but they are expensive. If desired, substitute the pine nuts for nuts such as walnuts, pecans or almonds. Plus, other less expensive hard cheeses such as Gruyere, Parmesan, Pecorino, Asiago, Romano and Cotija can be substituted if Parmigiano-Reggiano isn’t a cheese readily available.

The most important thing to remember is this: pesto is created when green, nuts or pine nuts, cheese, olive oil, salt & pepper are processed together. Play around with the ingredients until you find your favorite pesto combination.

With my first taste of pesto fifteen years ago, I decided it’s a food I don’t want to live without. If you don’t have fresh greens available, it can be purchased already made, but fresh is best, or… best-o (he-he).

Enjoy!

Pesto on Eggs

3.25 from 8 votes

Basic Pesto

The perfect pesto recipe to use as the base to create your favorite – just substitute other greens, nuts, cheeses and seasonings. Pesto = Greens + nuts + cheese + olive oil + salt + pepper. Course Appetizer, Pasta Entree, Sauce, Topping Cuisine Italian Prep Time 10 minutes Total Time 10 minutes Servings 1 /2-3/4 cup Author Susie Gall

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves packed (or use part basil, baby spinach, parsley or cilantro)
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and rough-chopped
  • ¼ cup pine nuts toasted (or walnuts or pecans – almost any nut can be used)
  • ½ cup 8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼-½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano Parmesan cheese or any hard cheese.
  • *Possible variations: Roasted Red peppers / Sage / Shallots / Thyme
  1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, pulse the basil, garlic, pine nuts, salt & pepper until coarsely chopped.

  2. With the motor running, slowly pour in 6 tablespoons of olive oil and process until smooth and oil is fully incorporated. Add cheese (*see storage note if refrigerating or freezing for later use) and pulse just a couple of times to combine.
  3. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Serve immediately or *see storage note.
  5. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

*Storage: If refrigerating, place in an airtight container, cover with a thin layer of oil and seal the container. Pesto, especially basil pesto, darkens when exposed to air. Use within 2 weeks and replace oil each time before resealing.
If freezing, omit the cheese until ready to serve. Before freezing, drizzle pesto with a thin layer of olive oil. When ready to serve, and after pesto has thawed in the fridge, add the cheese and mix well. Pesto will keep in the freezer up to 3 months.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Thank you for visiting Simply Sated. I would love for you to join my mailing list to ensure you see each newly posted recipe.

Sign up today!