Friday, September 4, 2009

Homemade Pesto

John and I planted a small herb garden this spring and the basil has by far grown the most!  I have found myself with an abundance of basil towards the end of the summer.  The easiest way to use up fresh basil?  Make pesto!  This recipe comes from Giada DeLaurentiis's Everyday Italian cookbook and is tried and true.  The only change I made was to double it! My version serves 6 - 8.  Toss it in pasta, use as a spread on chicken or fish, or my latest discovery - spread on top of a block of cream cheese and spread on crackers as an easy appetizer.  Pesto freezes well, so is easy to make ahead of time or to reserve in the freezer for times when you need a quick meal.
5 cups fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a food processor, blend the basil, pine nuts, garlic, salt, and pepper until finely chopped.  With the processor still running, pour in the olive oil until thick.  Turn off the food processor and add in the cheese, and then run again until everything is thoroughly blended together.


  1. I had a basil plant and managed to kill it. Everyone says that basil is the easiest thing to grow and mine still died! Your pesto looks good.

  2. I LOVE the blog. Now if I can find time away from vet school to try some of your awesome recipes! One tip that my Great Aunt told me about homemade pesto is to help preserve it, keep it in your refrigerator and add canola oil to the top of it form time to time. She said that you definitely need to use olive oil to actually make the pesto, but the canola oil on top helps keep it fresh for a long time. The pesto in little mason jars make awesome Christmas gifts too! Have fun in Greece, I am SO jealous!!