Pesto is the best-o! A quick spin in the food processor turns leafy basil (and a handful of other ingredients) into your new favorite sauce.
Carefully transfer pine nuts to food processor (ask an adult for help) and let pine nuts cool for 10 minutes.
Add basil, oil, Parmesan, garlic, and salt to food processor. Lock lid into place. Turn on processor and process for 30 seconds. Stop processor, remove lid, and use rubber spatula to scrape down sides of processor bowl.
When chopped basil is exposed to oxygen in the air. The basil goes through a process called oxidation (“ox-ih-DAY-shun”) that changes its color from bright green to drab, dull green. But there is something you can do to keep your basil pesto bright: Cover your finished pesto with some extra-virgin olive oil before you store it. The layer of oil blocks a lot of oxygen from reaching the basil, so it won’t oxidize as much.
Did you know that there are many different varieties of basil? You’re probably most familiar with sweet basil (also called Genoa basil, after the city in Italy where pesto originated). Sweet basil is typically sprinkled on top of pizza and pasta and turned into pesto. But there are many other basil varieties, including lemon basil, purple basil, and cinnamon basil—their names give a hint to their flavors (and colors). And don’t forget Thai basil, which has a hint of licorice flavor and is used in dishes across Southeast Asia, including recipes from Thailand—hence the name!