Classic Basil Pesto

Classic Basil Pesto

Italian basil pesto is as timeless and versatile as a little black dress or shawl collar tuxedo. It’s good with almost anything, but great when paired well. Stir a spoonful into softened butter and allow it to melt over a piece of perfectly cooked halibut. Or fold some into pasta with flaky tender pieces of salmon. Sauté some shell-on spot shrimp and finish it with a dollop of butter and pesto—the possibilities are many. 

Classic Basil Pesto | Sitka Salmon Shares

Active time: 15 min
Total time: 15 min
Serves: 1 cup


  • 2 cups (lightly packed) fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup (loosely packed) fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • ¼ cup toasted pinenuts or chopped roasted almonds
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper



In a food processor, combine the basil, parsley, garlic, and pine nuts and pulse until finely chopped. While the machine is running, add the oil in a steady stream and process until fairly smooth. Add the cheese and butter and pulse to combine. Transfer to a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Use right away or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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*The information displayed is our analysis of the recipe based on its ingredients and preparation, and should not be considered a substitute for professional nutrition advice.

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