From the Kitchen

Homemade Basil Pesto

I’ve been growing Basil in the garden for one purpose, Pesto! With only 4 ingredients, this yummy green sauce is so easy to make. It goes great with pasta, pizza, sandwiches, and is perfect as a dip for a crusty bread. I could probably eat it for every meal, it’s that good.

Basil Pesto

I’ve been excited to make my own pesto by harvesting my basil plant, which has come in really well. Basil is easy to grow and lots cheaper to grow on your own than buy in the store.

Recipe for Basil Pesto:

  • 1 1/2 cup Basil – before chopping
  • 3 Tablespoons Pine Nuts
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Dash of Garlic Salt – optional

There are lots of recipes for pesto and with all kinds of ingredients. I took a couple recipes and made my own very basic pesto. This recipe makes one cup of prepared pesto.

You will need a food chopper of some sort, even a grinding blender should work. I use this mini food processor, it’s small but does the job. For Christmas, I’m finally putting a Food Processor on my list! Add your basil and chop, then your pine nuts, chop. Add Parmesan cheese, dash of garlic and your olive oil, and blend until pureed.

You can have it as chunky or smooth as you like. This was all that my chopper can do, perfect to top on my bread.

Or maybe you want to top it on a Tortilla Pizza! Soooo good.

pesto pizza

Here are a few other recipes using Pesto. How do you eat your pesto?

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  1. I grow my own basil too and have enjoyed making my pesto for the last 5 years. If you cannot find pine nuts, use walnuts, pecans or almonds. Have fun. I have used it on sandwiches, pizza’s, pasta and lots of dips. I have used it in soups, too. Today, I am going to make a humus with chicpeas, canoloni beans, avacado and basil pesto. And, I am going to toss in some fresh chives and parsley from my garden. Sounds good to me.

  2. Pinenuts: Costco is the best place to buy pinenuts. The price is excellent & you can keep the bag of nuts fresh in the freezer for ages.

  3. Last summer I grew 3 different basils & got their names mixed up. One of them accidentally wasn’t even a basil but I made a lot of pesto with it. It’s called Lime Mint & it smells like basil. So I say try making pesto style things with other herbs. You might find something you really like. Also, I used toasted pecans in all my pestos last summer in place of the pinenuts & it was fabulous!

    BTW, the Lime Mint lived through our cold Utah winter, so it was a wonderful surprise to see it thriving this spring. It’s also good in flower arrangements since it’s nice looking AND a bonus: it makes the arrangement smell good!

  4. Marie, I’ve been a lurker on your site for quite some time! Thanks for all the great ideas!

    Just to let you know, a full sized food processor takes up a TON of space on your counter and we dont use ours that often.

    For small things, we actually use the Magic Bullet. It’s surprisingly good!

  5. It is so nice to see simple and nice recipes! your pesto is looking great, so fresh and delicious. also, spreading it on a pizza crust looks like a great idea!

  6. YUM! didn’t grow basil this year. seeing your post reminded me how much I love fresh pesto. I freeze mine (when I make a big batch) in a muffin tin (not as ice cube tray – too small) for future use.

    Try mixing pesto with mayo for some yummy sandwich spread.

    Also delicious spread on salmon and grilled.

    Enjoy your harvest –

  7. I have been wanting to make pesto lately. Perfect timing. I love this stuff! I like to use it when I make panini sandwiches. It is so good on the bread with chicken, cheese, tomato & fresh spinach. My favorite lately!!

  8. Mmmmm…….. Here’s my absolute favorite pesto recipe:

    Mix a little pesto and mayo together
    Spread on a thick slice of fresh cut bread
    Top with:
    A few spears of steamed asparagus
    A slice or two ripe tomato
    A slice or so of provolone cheese
    Broil on a cookie sheet until cheese is bubbly and starting to brown.

    Amounts vary by size of bread. I can’t remember where I got this recipe or how much I’ve changed it but I keep coming back to it year after year.

  9. Andrea – You should be able to find pine nuts in the baking isle by the other nuts. I found mine at Walmart next to all the other nuts.

    Becky – You should be fine starting your basil now, keep it watered in this heat. But you may have a hard time finding basil already growing as a start. Most plant places are sold out or don’t carry edibles anymore. You’ll probably have to start with a seed. Good luck.

  10. MMMM! I love pesto!
    Hi Marie!
    I make my own too! I also make Sundried Tomato pesto – same recipe only swap out the basil!
    I store it in the fridge in a glass container and top off the container with Oil to keep it fresh. It also tastes yummy on grilled chicken!

  11. Oh, good – I just tried drying and freezing basil for the first time this weekend, and was thinking I should “harvest” some more soon.

    I’m looking for recipes that call for basil, because it’s the only thing I grew this year that survived the heat, and there’s PLENTY of it!

    Thanks for this recipe (and the other links!!)

  12. This is the reason I grow basil too! I LOVE it! Your pictures are great!
    I have a great recipe for Pasta Caprese that uses fresh mozzarella – email me if you would like it! Another great use for my favorite fresh herb!

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