Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Homemade Pesto

I used to think making pesto was so hard.  I can't believe how much yummy fresh basil I like go to waste for years before I realized that if you can run a food processor, then you can make delicious pesto. 

This is 3 basil plants that have kinda grown together.  The larger one is starting to go to seed because we were away this weekend and did not get harvested, which means I really need to make pesto today.  Good thing it is so easy.....

Basil leaves, minced garlic, pine nuts and olive oil ready to become wonderfulness.

Add grated Parmesan cheese and a bit of lemon juice. Whirl it around a few times...


Homemade Pesto
4 cups fresh basil leaves (absolutely no stems or flowers)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 c pine nuts (use only pine nuts!)
4 - 6 T extra virgin olive oil (use the good stuff here, it matters....)
1/2 c fresh grated Parmesan cheese (Costco has a great brand.  Please no green can here)
1/2 t lemon juice (this helps keep it nice and green)

1.  In food processor blend basil, garlic, pine nuts and 5 T olive oil until everything is well chopped.
2.  Add Parmesan cheese and chop until desired consistency.  (I like mine a little chuncky.)  Add more olive oil here if you prefer it runnier.  
3.  Add lemon juice and a bit of salt to taste (I never do, the Parmesan cheese is salty enough for me).  

I keep a jar of this in my refrigerator all summer.  It will turn brown where it comes in contact with air over time, but it is still OK to eat.  It lasts at least 2 weeks, maybe longer, but I make it about every two weeks.

I freeze this 3 ways - 
1.  In ice cube trays when I need a small amount to add to soups, etc.
2.  In muffin tins when I need to add it to pasta sauce.
3.  In 1 C Ziploc containers when I am making a dish where pesto plays a prominent role (like Spinach Ravioli Lasagna) or I want to make several dishes with it over a few days time. 

I know it will freeze wonderfully for at least 4 months, I have never had any last any longer than that......

Linked to
Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam
Delicious Dishes at It's A Blog Party
Tuesday Tastes at Crazy Daisy


  1. We had it on pizza last night. It was excellent.
    My basil plant is not near as big as yours. Does yours grow year-round?


  2. Took me years to figure out that I didn't like pine nuts (loved everything about pesto but the taste). I make it with different nuts (pistachios and pecans usually) and love pesto now!


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