Presto! Pesto!

On their way to pesto!

I.  Love.  Pesto.  Now, these adorable little seedlings are a long way from becoming pesto — I don’t even have enough pots to contain the hundreds of the little darlings that sprouted.  They’re ready to be thinned and re-potted and I should have enough to supply the entire town!

We enjoy pesto, warm or cold on pasta, potatoes, or on toasted baguette slices.  I also like to use it to “baste” baked chicken breasts — spread warm on a chicken sandwich, it’s delicious.  Below is the simple recipe I use:


(pesto photo credit)

Sweet Basil Pesto

2 cups fresh basil leaves (packed)

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup Olive oil

3-4 tablespoons pine nuts

(walnuts can replace pinenuts, but I often find them bitter)

2-3 garlic cloves, finely minced

Put basil leaves in food processor and pulse until well chopped (do about 3/4 cup at a time).  Add about 1/3 the nuts and garlic, blend again.  Add about 1/3 of the Parmesan cheese; blend while slowly adding about 1/3 of the olive oil, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of container.

Process mixture until it forms a thick smooth paste. Repeat until all ingredients are used, mix all batches together well.  Basil pesto keeps in refrigerator one week, or you can freeze in frequently-used amounts for a few months.

Basil is a good source of vitamin A. Vitamin A helps prevent free radicals from oxidizing cholesterol in the blood stream, preventing cholesterol from building up in the blood vessels.  Magnesium is also present in basil. This essential mineral helps the heart and blood vessels to relax, improving blood flow. Other healthy nutrients found in basil include iron, calcium, potassium, and vitamin C.



Author: nancybond

A writer, photographer, naturalist from small town Nova Scotia, Canada.

11 thoughts on “Presto! Pesto!”

  1. Hi Nancy. I just heard a news story about basil on public radio. A plague of powdery mildew is wiping out plants in certain areas of the country. Kind of like our tomato blight last summer. Good luck with yours, it certainly look good.

  2. Mmm! I can’t wait for that first batch of fresh pesto! I went basil crazy this year and have it just about everywhere.

    Well, I have enough to plant it just about everywhere, but lack the space. :) Lots of pots!

  3. I was about to warn you of the same blight that Marnie mentioned. Just check out NPR for details. Now, to the pesto….PESTO is my FAVORITE Food Group. It IS a Food Group, right? I shall use your recipe this very weekend and test it out! YUM!!!!!

    Debi and Marnie — thanks to both of you for the heads up about the powdery mildew. I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for any signs.

  4. Oh how cute! We love pesto too and it is so easy to make and so very useful, as you delightfully describe. Now I must go have something to eat, pizza, not pesto, but wait, it could be used as a sauce…. never mind! :-)

  5. That is a neat shot, Nancy. Thanks for the recipe and meal suggestions. They all sound good. I mostly just use pesto for the same old things.

    PS–my basil is gooding well, so far anyway

  6. Isn’t it amazing to sprout little ones ? I am so pleased with the sprout kit from Vesey and how easy it is .. I don’t need soil it is all done hydroponically ? in a layer of plastic dishes .
    This must taste especially wonderful since you are the creator Nancy : )

  7. Hi Nancy, the problem we find growing basil over here in england is the slugs who adore the leaves, we grow it often indoors but not in direct sunlight and we water in the morning but with warm water and never at night….enjoy the pesto!

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