Chef Jaime Laurita's Lemon Toasted Pine Nut Pesto

Lemon Toasted Pine Nut Pesto


3/4 cup pine nuts

4 oz. Parmesan, grated (about 1 cup)

3 garlic cloves, chopped

Pinch of chili flake

1 lemon, zested

8 cups basil leaves

1 cup of Olive Oil

1.5 tsp. kosher salt


One the stove top in a small pan, toast your pine nuts over lower heat. Stir the pine nuts during the process so the pine nuts do not burn on one side.  The pine nuts should be golden brown after about 5 minutes. Cool before combining with other ingredients.  


In a food processor, combine the toasted pine nuts, cheese, chopped garlic, chili flake and lemon zest then pulse for one minute until ground. Remove the lid, add your basil and secure the top back on. With the processor running, add oil in gradually until pesto is smooth for about 1-2  minute. Add your kosher salt to taste. Top with olive oil to prevent browning.


To freeze, add pesto to an ice cube tray with a lid. You can use the frozen cubes later in pastas and other dishes.