A Simple Basil Pesto

Wednesday 14 August 2013

Basil Pesto

The Basil is going mad in my garden at the moment.   I can't use it up fast enough.  It's the perfect time to make Pesto!    

We love pesto in this house and it's so much nicer when you can make your own.


 Basil Pesto

It's not really practical to make it during the winter months because it's so expensive to buy the fresh leaves and you really need a lot to make a really good pesto.   

I will use the jarred kind in a pinch, but I much prefer the fresh if I can get it.

Basil Pesto

Basil isn't something that winters at all in a garden, so you need to plant it every year.  We plant ours from seed in pots outside the kitchen door.

It's really prolific and I like to make great use of it while I can!  It comes in ever so handy for all sorts, but making your own pesto is the greatest use of all!

Summer Pea, New Potato and Pesto Tart

Ready to use in a Summer Pea, New Potato and Pesto Tart!  Delicious!

Tomato Pesto Tartlettes

Tomato Pesto Tartlettes, simple and quick to make.

Basil Pesto

You can spread it onto chicken breasts, top with some fresh mozzarella cheese and and roast them with some baby plum tomatoes.  Easy Peasy.   

Spinach, Pea and Gruyere Tart

You can use it as a simple sauce on top of fish.  Just spread it onto the top, sprinkle on some buttered bread crumbs and roast.  Also easy.

It's such a versatile ingredient.   We like it on sandwiches and all sorts.  It's lovely stirred into hot pasta!

Basil Pesto

It's super easy to make, especially if you have a food processor.  

Don't fret if you don't though . . . it is possible to do it in a mortar and pestle, although it is a lot harder work!  You need a lot of ooomph!

Basil Pesto

Just remember air is your enemy when it comes to pesto and make sure you keep a thin layer of olive oil over the top of it, or keep it tightly covered with plastic wrap.  It also freezes very well.  

I do hope you'll try it.  It's just so simple to make, and once you have made your own . . . you'll never be satisfied with it from a jar again. 

Basil Pesto

*A Simple Basil Pesto*
Makes about 2 cups

What can I say.  It's pesto and it's easy to make.  Perfect way to use up some of that Basil which is probably going wild in your garden at the moment!

a small handful of toasted walnuts
a small handful of toasted pine nuts
4 peeled and chopped cloves of garlic
3 cups of basil leaves, lightly packed
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
6 fluid ounces good quality olive oil (3/4 cup)
90g of finely grated Parmesan cheese (1/2 cup)

Put the nuts and garlic into the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse several times.  Add the basil leaves along with the salt and pepper.  With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil, allowing the motor to run until the mixture is thoroughly pureed.  Stir in the cheese.   Let the motor run on low for about half a minute.   

Your pesto is now ready to use.  Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.  For longer storage freeze.  You can freeze this in ice cube trays.  Just divide amongst the little cups, add a thin layer of olive oil on top and freeze. Pop out into a zip lock baggie and return to the freezer.  You can take out as many as you want to use then, whenever you need them.


  1. Brilliant! I cannot wait to try it! I will most definitely be freezing it in ice cubes like you suggested! Thanks Marie!

  2. You can't beat fresh pesto, and if you have grown the basil yourself, even better.

  3. I do love pesto and as you show here it's so versatile and can be used in so many ways... a great staple to have... unfortunately I have tried and failed to grow basil so many times i've now given up... I have loads of other herbs but basil has eluded me... I can but dream!

  4. Will give this a go this afternoon! Thank you.

  5. Mmmmmmm I love pesto. What a great idea to freeze it and use it all winter! Thanks for all the recipe ideas to use pesto.

  6. I love basil Marie and this pesto look amazing I can't wait we have the basil season!!
    huggs dear!

  7. "The Basil is going mad in my garden at the moment. I can't use it up fast enough." Send the extra to me! I'm sure you wouldn't mind overnighting it to California, would you? :))

    I'm mad for pesto, and your recipes using it sound scrumptious. I also have fond memories of my brother making pesto, as it was the only thing he could do in the kitchen that didn't carry with it the danger of starting a fire.

  8. Y'all are welcome. This is my favourite Pesto recipe. Only the best on here folks! Thanks so much for your comments!

  9. Pesto is one of my favourite foods ever.


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