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How to Make Pesto

May 18, 2012 Le Cordon Bleu Chicago 0 Comments

How to Make Pesto

Bacon lovers may be right when they say that “everything tastes better with bacon”, but a challenger for that expression has got to be pesto sauce. It’s lively, fresh herb taste brings everything you pair it with to life with a lively hint of earthiness and bright flavors.  Culinary schools help students learn how to cook with fresh, seasonal herbs used in dishes like the basil used in pesto.

You probably already know that it’s great on pasta, but what about bread, pizza, seafood, eggs, or even steak?

To see the prices of pre-made pesto at the grocery, you’d think it was either difficult to make or made with hard to find exotic ingredients. Neither is true. Pesto is very simple to make and requires only a couple of kitchen tools that you probably already own.

Simple Pesto Recipe

Pesto really is as easy as it comes in the kitchen. Just a few fresh ingredients and a blender or food processor are all you need to make it. Students of Illinois cooking schools can hone their chopping skills preparing the ingredients for this bursting-with-flavor sauce.


  • 2 cups of fresh basil leaves. Pack the basil into the measuring cup tightly
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup of roasted pine nuts
  • ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon of kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper


  • To roast the pine nuts place them in a heated skillet and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until they start to brown. Stir frequently
  • Wash the basil thoroughly and place it into a large capacity food processor
  • Add the grated Parmesan, pine nuts, salt, and pepper
  • Pulse the processor a couple of times to start the blending process
  • Set the processor on it’s lowest setting and slowly pour in the olive oil
  • Add the lemon juice and continue mixing until a bright green paste forms

Serve immediately with any meal or dish that would benefit from the taste of fresh herbs. Store in the refrigerator for one week or freeze for up to three months.

This article is presented by Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Chicago. Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Chicago offers culinary arts and pâtisserie and baking training programs in Chicago, Illinois. To learn more about the class offerings, please visit Chefs.edu/Chicago for more information. 

Find disclosures on graduation rates, student financial obligations and more at www.chefs.edu/disclosures.  Le Cordon Bleu® and the Le Cordon Bleu logo are registered trademarks of Career Education Corporation. Le Cordon Bleu cannot guarantee employment or salary. Credits earned are unlikely to transfer.


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