Monday, September 28, 2009

Basil Pesto

Ok, once I picked my basil plant basically bare of leaves so that it would stop getting so leggy (see previous post), it was time to make basil pesto! This is a great thing to make and toss in the refrigerator for nights when you don't feel like making a big production of dinner. I keep mine in little half-cup gladware containers (above; each half-cup contains about eight servings).

Some ideas for pesto include the following:

- Add to hot cooked pasta, cherry tomatoes, and/or grilled chicken and serve with salad and crusty bread

- Drizzle over fresh mozzarella and tomatoes

- Top grilled chicken or toss with cooked shrimp for an elegant protein

Below is a recipe for pesto I use often that I adapted from a Cooking Light recipe. The recipe uses less than half the oil that traditional pesto recipes incorporate; as such, you likely won't ever see this pesto separate out into oil and other ingredients - it will stay well-mixed!


Recipe Notes
Because my basil plant was so prolific, I was able to multiply this recipe eight times over. Please note that, if you make just one recipe of this pesto, you will have significantly less than these photos show.

  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp. pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 tbsp. preshredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
  • 2 tsp. bottled minced garlic
  • 4 tsp. olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste


1. Wash basil thoroughly and pat dry.
2. Broil pine nuts in the oven on LOW until toasted.

3. Combine all ingredients except for olive oil in a Cuisinart or other food processor.

4. Pulse until well-combined.

5. Add oil, one tsp. at a time, until pesto is well-blended.

1 comment:

  1. Kristi:
    I have 4 basil plants so we have basil coming our of our ears. My sister who lives in PA and is a serious gardener told me that she makes pesto and freezes it in small containers. She pulls it out all winter and uses it with brushetta and pasta. She also suggested substituting toasted walnuts in place of pine nuts - the flavor is excellent and it's a little more heart healthy! Good job on the blog!!
    Vicki Lange