Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

Code Red Basil Pesto

Code Red Basil Pesto

This pesto is also great with steamed, roasted, or grilled vegetables.

  • 1 cup of basil leaves, loosely packed (see Note below)
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • Pinch of hot red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/3 cup fresh-pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Place the basil, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, pine nuts, and hot red pepper flakes in a blender
  2. or food processor and pulse until mixture is finely chopped. 
  3. Slowly add the olive oil while the machine is running, until the pesto is emulsified. 
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Use as a drizzling sauce on steak, burgers, chicken, shrimp, salmon, or spiral zucchini “noodles,” or as a marinade for chicken or shrimp. 

Note: If desired, you can make it an herb blend rather than using only basil. I like thyme, flat-leaf parsley, and rosemary; any blend is delicious!

Makes about 2/3 cup — Recipe adapted from