How to Make Pesto

August 26, 2011

Be you a disciple of the mortar and pestle or happy to take a hand from ye olde Cuisinart, now is the time to pick a method and pesto it up. Amanda pounds; Merrill pulses (and most of us love to gussy things up with nuts and cheese.) Drop the pasta, toast your levain or freeze it for the decidedly ungreen winter -- whatever you do don't forget to make the most of your herbs this summer.

This week's videos were once again shot and edited by our videographer Elena Parker (who now produces our bi-weekly Dinner & a Movie column as well!).

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Dan Pullman
    Dan Pullman
  • SweetLifeMag
  • DueSpaghetti
  • sygyzy
  • elenakathryn
Food52 (we cook 52 weeks a year, get it?) is a food and home brand, here to help you eat thoughtfully and live joyfully.


Dan P. November 29, 2011
yes, electricity helps. adding walnuts instead of pinenuts is a big plus (and processor helps with that too). Add a few grinds of fresh pepper. As for USES, our kids daily school lunch sandwich includes pesto (with turkey and muenster or mozz slices, with the mayo companion). Of course, Pasta. And for sautéed chicken breasts. We kind of use it everywhere all year long as the kids love the garlic, basil, olive oil package.
SweetLifeMag August 29, 2011
I have a ton of Basil in the garden and I need to make a bunch of Pesto to freeze. Thanks for reminding me ;)
DueSpaghetti August 27, 2011
The word "pesto" means anything created from mortar and pestle. When we think of pesto, we think of the traditional pesto genovese made with basil and pine nuts, but in Italy, pesto varies by region. One of our favorites is pesto siciliano, made with tomatoes, ricotta, parmigiano, pine nuts and almonds. You can find the recipe on our list.
sygyzy August 26, 2011
Awesome video. Love the mortar and pestle method. Quick question - probably for Elena, but the audio seems out of sync with the video. It's most noticeable when you watch Amanda making the pesto in the mortar.
elenakathryn August 28, 2011
Hi sygyzy
The audio should be in sync for the majority of the video. Whenever it is not (during the mortal and pestle shots ie,) that is on purpose and a hazard of the way I shoot (with 1 camera). In order to cut out the camera movement and maintain an illusion of continuity in the edit, you slip the sound out of sync to cover the cut. I do this on every video, it happens to be most noticeable when you have an activity like the mortar or another repetitive motion. Good eye/ear... Thanks for the inquiry.