Metro Weekly

Savor Recipe: A Really Good Pesto

A homemade pesto that won't disappoint

Pesto, recipe, savor
Finished pesto in jars — Photo: Craig Bowman

I love really good pesto. I love it so much that I invested in an indoor AeroGarden so I can grow my own basil. I don’t want to spend a fortune at Whole Foods or wait until the middle of the summer when my potted basil is at its peak.

However you get your basil, this recipe won’t disappoint you. It’s terrific with pasta, awesome on a toasted baguette with a little sun-dried tomato, and is perfect for dipping your pizza crust.


  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 3 Tbsp chopped garlic (about 9 cloves)
  • 5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-½ cups good olive oil
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


1. Gather five cups of basil leaves (no stems) and wash and dry, if necessary.

Pesto ingredients -- Photo: Craig Bowman

2. Toast the walnuts in a shallow skillet just until fragrant and lightly browned.


3. Toast the pine nuts in a shallow skillet just until fragrant and lightly browned. Be careful, they burn quickly.

Pine nuts

4. Peel and rough chop the garlic.


5. Add the walnuts, pine nuts, and garlic to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade.

Pesto mixture

6. Process those ingredients for 30 seconds.

Pesto mixture

7.Add the basil leaves, salt, and pepper.

Pesto mixture with basil

8. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly pureed.

Pesto mixture in processor

9. Add the Parmesan and puree for an additional 45 seconds.

Pesto mixture with parmesan

Questions? Text Craig at 202-217-0996 or email

Check out more recipes:

Savor Recipe: Orange & Cardamom Olive Oil Cake

Savor Recipe: Vietnamese Caramel Salmon


Support Metro Weekly’s Journalism

These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!