Holden House Inn Recipe: Zesty Pesto Sauce with Fresh Basil

Holden House Pesto Recipe with Fresh Basil

Fresh pesto with toasted pine nuts and fresh basil add zest to a variety of dishes

Fresh Pesto from the Holden House Garden

Holden House is known for using fresh herbs from the garden for a variety of signature dishes and garnishes. One of our favorites is our homemade pesto sauce that adds a zesty flavor to a variety of recipes. It’s also a delicious and simple addition to any pasta dish you may want to create and serve in your own home. 
2 cups fresh, washed basil leaves
1/2 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts (lightly toasted – walnuts can be substituted)
3 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 each teaspoon salt and pepper (or to taste)
Directions: Wash the basil well and lightly dry. Remove the leaves from the stems to make approximately two cups. Push down into the food processor. Use the chopping blade attachment.
Lightly toast the pine nuts in the oven and add 1/3 cup of pine nuts on top of the fresh basil leaves. Pulse the food processor until chopped and lightly mixed.
Add garlic and cheese and pulse food processor again until mixed well. With a spatula, scrape the sides.
Slowly pour in olive oil while the food processor is running, so it emulsifies and mixes the oil well. Intermittently, stop and scrape the sides of the food processor to ensure it’s well blended.
Add salt and pepper and additionally pulse processor. Pesto should be finely chopped and mixed well with the other ingredients.
Transfer pesto sauce mixture to a glass container (small Ball jars work well) leaving approximately 1/4 inch gap on top. Drizzle and float olive oil on top of pesto mixture to coat and prevent from drying out. Seal and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. If desired, jars can also be frozen and thawed. After each use, float additional olive oil over the top as it will stay fresh longer. Serve as a side to a variety of dishes including pasta, or as we do, with our signature dishes such as Italian Eggs Florentine and sprinkle Parmesan over the top.