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Recipe Collection

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Mom’s Pesto

Mom’s Pesto Related:   condiments, pareve or dairy, vegan, vegetarian

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: n/a

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

My mom Esther makes her pesto with basil, pine nuts, garlic, salt and olive oil and freezes it so that it can be used all winter (and sent to me wherever I may be living at the time). She uses just enough oil to hold the basil together (more can be added when used in a recipe), and does not add any cheese to pesto that she prepares for freezing so she can use it in non-dairy recipes. She adds fresh grated parmesan cheese and a bit more oil for recipes that call for traditional pesto. She has also made it without pine nuts to use in any recipe calling for basil and garlic.


  • 4–6 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves, washed and dried
  • ½–¾ cup of pine nuts (walnuts can be substituted or nuts can be omitted altogether)
  • 1 whole garlic, peel individual cloves
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • Black pepper to taste


  • Throw all ingredients into a food processor and process until very finely chopped. Fill ice cube trays or small cups with pesto, or put desired amount in a small baggie and freeze. This recipe makes a very dense and intense pesto which can be diluted with olive oil, cheese and more nuts when thawed and used in any recipe calling for pesto.

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