Friday, July 20, 2007

Homemade Basil Pesto

Have you ever had Basil Pesto? It is a simple Italian sauce that brings summery flavor to all sorts of dishes.

For the main ingredient, I headed out to the vegetable garden.

As you can see my basil plants went a little crazy this summer!

Fresh Basil Pesto

1 cup walnuts or pine nuts
Coarse salt and ground pepper
8 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves, (4 ounces)
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese

In a food processor, combine nuts, basil, and garlic; season generously with salt and pepper. Process until nuts are finely chopped. With machine running, pour oil in a steady stream through the feed tube; process until smooth. Use immediately.

You can also buy already-made pesto at the grocery store and here are a couple of ways to use it up...

I got this first recipe from my Father-in-law. Take slices of toasted sourdough bread, spread with butter or even better, some roasted garlic.

Spread with pesto and sprinkle with feta cheese. This was *really* good!

Another way to eat pesto is over spaghetti noodles. Grace says it's her very favorite food, she has called it "green spaghetti" since she was three. :0)

Sprinkle with more parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Along with some grilled chicken, this was our Sunday dinner.

Recipe from


... said...

i remember the first time i had pesto (and it was on pasta). i fell in love with it. as a young adult and newly on my own, i was invited to a co-workers house for dinner. i felt so grown up. i felt even more so because i was served something i never had in my childhood home. it was delicious. and we eat it often here in my house.

everything you made yesterday looks absolutely scrumptous. i would have loved to have been there to sample it all.

Amanda said...

For a lower fat version, I use vegetable or chicken broth instead of oil. You can thicken it with cornstarch later if you desire. :)

Liz said...

Hi Kelli! I also freeze mine! I make my pesto very thick and store it in small containers. When needed, I just 'cut' a chunk and add it to hot pasta, with some extra olive oil.


Cris said...

I had pesto before on pasta, but never made it, that's quite simple huh? Nice recipe!

Sonya said...

Looks mighty tasty! I have always wanted to try this and never have. Thanks for inspiring me to do so!

Jodi said...

Oh ~ I'm so glad you posted this. I've been wanting a recipe for this; now I don't have to dig for one! :o)

Linda aka yellowroseli said...

I love pesto. I just posted a recipe that uses fresh basil. You should go take a lood at it.
I also planted basil this year. It grows so easy.
Keep up the good work.

Janice said...

I have not made pesto yet, but love basil, so would like to try this! Your basil looks so beautiful and healthy! Thanks for sharing your cooking ideas.

Anonymous said...

Now, this sounds YUMMY to my tummy!
Bon APETIT!!! (sp?)

Kimmie said...

I freeze my pesto...leave out the cheese and I pour it in flexible ice cube trays. Once frozen, pop it out and into a freezer bag, whah-lah...pesto anytime you want...just add cheese (and lots of it!)

mama to 6
one homemade and 5 adopted
(*we homeschool too-come meet us!)

Kelli said...

Thank you for the freezing tips! I bought some more nuts and olive oil to make a few more batches this week. :0)


Jenn4Him said...

I wish I had grown basil instead of peppermint. I wonder if I could substitute. (lol)

Unknown said...

This is great info.! Thank you!