Traditional Basil Pesto

The basil in our garden has been doing so well, especially after I thought it died when I transplanted the seedlings.  The Red Ruben basil is the farthest behind, and I haven’t used any of it yet, but I have a few ideas flying around of what to do with it.

Today, I made pesto out of the Lettuce Leaf basil.  My goal is to freeze enough pesto this summer to last us for the year.  We only use pesto occasionally, but I love to top fish, especially salmon, with pesto and then broil it.  We also use it on chicken breasts, occasionally on pasta, and I recently saw a recipe for a potato salad made with pesto that I want to try.  Oh, and I almost forgot- I like to use pesto on my pizza, the top it with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella slices.  That’s the best pizza!  A few jars of pesto should be enough to last us the year, and I got two jars (about 1 cup each, by doubling the recipe) today.  I used traditional pine nuts in this pesto, but I’m looking forward to experimenting with other pesto recipes as the basil season goes on.  Today I was lucky enough to have some garlic that Chris and Melissa gave us from their garden.  I don’t add any cheese to this recipe, because I’m making it to freeze.  However, if you’re using it right away, you can stir in up to 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese after adding the olive oil.

Traditional Basil Pesto

  • 3 cups packed basil leaves, washed and dried
  • 2 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup of pine nuts
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Pulse all ingredients except olive oil in food processor.  Drizzle in 1/2 cup olive oil with the processor on to combine.  Transfer to a jar, then top with 1-2 Tbsp olive oil to keep the pesto from turning brown.  Screw on the lid and freeze.  Makes about 1 cup.


Filed under Food, Gardening, Recipes, Sustainable Living

3 responses to “Traditional Basil Pesto

  1. Pesto is one of those things that I always mean to try but never do. This is inspiration for me to give it a go. Thanks from us over at

  2. Marie

    HI Ab
    Sorry we missed you last night, everything looks beautiful, I love how the yellow and white petunias are filling in with the blue hydrangeas in the back, looks lovely. And those morning glories, maybe they are really “jack in the beanstalks” my goodness, they love thier new home. I have frozen a lot of pesto and always include the parmesan cheese, it freezes very well and the flavor stays very well. Did the recipe say not to add cheese if you are freezing it? Just curious.
    Have a great day, its so pretty out.
    Mom Marie

  3. farmersdaughterct

    I don’t always like cheese in pesto, so I leave it out until I know if I want it or not. Good to know, though, that folks can put it in there and it will freeze fine.

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