Basil Pesto

This basil pesto recipe is the result of me making pesto innumerable times and tweaking it each time until I got it just right. My goal was to make a pesto that tastes just like the one you can buy from the Queen Victoria Markets in Melbourne. I think I got pretty close, but you be the judge!


  • 3 bunches of basil
  • 150ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 60g parmesan
  • 60g pine nuts
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 2 pinches of sea salt flakes
  • 10 turns of a pepper mill

You will also need a food processor to combine the ingredients together, unless you fancy doing it all by hand.


Begin by attaching both the blade and fine-grating attachment to the food processor.

Grate the parmesan using the processor.

Remove the grating attachment and add all of the remaining ingredients. When you add the basil the food processor should be at least two-thirds full - three bunches usually works for me, but if you have a stingy supplier of basil you might need a fourth.

Process until smooth. You might need to scrape down the sides of the food processor a couple of times, I find the basil leaves like to stick to the side.

That’s it! Your pesto is now ready. If you end up making this let me know what you think on Twitter.

You can store it in a jar in the fridge but I find it doesn’t keep longer than a week, even with putting an oil seal on the top. What I do, and I’m very sorry if this upsets any nonnas, is divide the pesto into a large ice-cube tray and freeze it. When you need some pesto just microwave a cube in a bowl for 30 seconds or so to defrost.

Ben Harrap
Ben Harrap

Researcher in linked data, Indigenous health, and child removals. Amateur gardener and greyhound lover.