From Scratch: homemade pesto

22.12.14 Eat, Learn Blog SumoSalad
Make Homemade Pesto

There are few more mouth-watering smells than the delicious aroma of fresh homemade pesto wafting around your kitchen.

If you’ve got a blender there’s no reason to not making your own pesto. It’s super quick and easy, plus there is no supermarket jar equivalent that will taste as good as your homemade batch.

As a further incentive basil packs a hefty nutritional punch of vitamin A, K, C, magnesium, iron, potassium, and calcium. Those little aromatic leaves relieve inflammation and swelling, keep you young with anti-aging properties and contain anti-oxidants. It can also do your weekly shopping and solve your crossword puzzle (joking…we think).

And gardeners rejoice! Pesto is also freezable, great for when you have a bumper crop of the green stuff. A word to wise though – omit the Parmesan cheese before the big chill – the cheese don’t freeze.

Once you’re ready to use it, it’s as flexible as an Olympic gymnast. Obviously you can stir it into your favourite pasta, but you can also spread it on freshly baked bread, add it to scrambled eggs with a sprinkling of feta cheese, recreate our own Pesto Chicken and Avocado salad, or use it as a topping for baked potatoes. Basically, pesto makes everything better.

Basil Pesto

Makes 1 cup

Basil pesto darkens when exposed to air, so to store, cover tightly with plastic wrap making sure the plastic is touching the top of the pesto Homemade Pesto is packed with goodnessand not allowing the pesto to have contact with air. The pesto will stay greener longer that way.

What you need

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts (can sub chopped walnuts)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Special equipment: A food processor (you can use a mortar and pestle, it just takes a bit more muscle!)


  1. Place the basil leaves and pine nuts into the bowl of a food processor and pulse a several times. Add the garlic and Parmesan or Romano cheese and pulse several times more. Scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula.
  2. While the food processor is running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady small stream. Adding the olive oil slowly, while the processor is running, will help it emulsify and help keep the olive oil from separating. Occasionally stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor.
  3. Stir in some salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

What some pesto inspo? Try the SumoSalad Pesto Chicken and Avocado from the Fast  Deli Salad Range.


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