Deb’s Red Pepper Pesto


  • 2 bunches fresh basil, stems removed
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, or as needed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced, or more to taste
  • 2 ounces pine nuts
  • 3 roasted red bell peppers, seeded and peeled, or more to taste
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, or more as desired
  • 2 tablespoons cooked corn kernels, or as desired (optional)


Place basil in a food processor.

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Coat the bottom of a skillet with about 1 teaspoon olive oil and heat over medium; cook and stir garlic until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add cooked garlic to basil.

Heat a separate skillet over medium-high heat; add pine nuts and cook until toasted and fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Add toasted pine nuts and roasted red bell pepper to basil mixture.

Process basil mixture until evenly combined and chunky.

Mix lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper into red bell pepper mixture; process, adding the 3 tablespoons olive oil a little at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Add corn and process just until mixed.