Family Favorite Recipe: Pesto

Pesto makes everything better.

I have a black thumb.

It is a truth I have to face.  How do I know this?  Well, I sprouted two different basil plants and then watched them die as I frantically tried to water them more, water them less, give them more sunlight, give them less sunlight, etc.

It wasn’t pretty.

Then I thought, “I’ll buy adult basil plants so they have a fighting chance in this world!”

Big. Fat. Chance.

Three adult basil plants have quickly gone by the wayside.  So, I’ve given up entirely.

I have resorted to buying the adult basil plants from Trader Joe’s for $3 and using leaves for a month or two until the plant dies.  It’s still cheaper than buying teeny packets of pre-cut basil and it lasts a bit longer.  How pathetic!

I bought a new plant this weekend and knew it would be PERFECT for a big batch of pesto.

You will need:

  • 3 cups fresh basil (or about 2 heaping handfuls)
  • 6 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese 
  • 1 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Blend in a food processor until smooth.

Some fun variations:
-Use celery leaves, arugula, peas, broccoli, or kale instead of basil
-Use walnuts, almonds, or cashews instead of pine nuts
-Use asiago, romano, or pecorino instead of parmesan
-Add lemon zest if you are feeling spunky

One of the best things about pesto is that the combinations are endless.

I put mine in a mason jar in the fridge.  I plan on putting it on pasta, fish, bread, a spoon…you know…whatever suits my fancy.

Bowtie pasta, homemade pesto, mini heirloom tomatoes, and crumbled goat cheese.


16 thoughts on “Family Favorite Recipe: Pesto

  1. There you go! A couple weeks ago I made red pepper pesto. Same stuff but with red peppers and no basil. It turned out pretty darn good. If I was doing it over, I’d use more peppers and less pine nuts – and add more hot red pepper to give it some pep.

  2. This cracked me up because I am exactly the same way! They burn to a crisp if I leae mine outside but then they don’t look happy by the windowsill – I am hoping Miracle Grow was just what they were waiting for to perk their little leaves up!

  3. I have a black thumb too! But I have to commend you for making the attempt to grow your own herbs, I’ve given up this summer. I really want to plant tomatoes, but I can’t bear the thought of messing those up.

  4. Looks yummy! I’ve recently really gotten into goat cheese.

    Don’t worry, I have a black thumb, too. If there’s ever a real-life Little Shop of Horrors Venus Fly Trap that starts eating people, I’ll be the first to go.

  5. This is on my 101 in 1001 list. I grew basil this summer but didn’t pay attention to it when the temps got above 100 for a solid month, so it fried. 😦 Pesto is nom.

  6. Pingback: Guest Post: Basic Guide to Canning Dill Pickles | La Petite Pancake

  7. Pingback: Gnocchi and Pesto Soup | La Petite Pancake

  8. My first batch was pretty salty, and I was unable to save it. I think that I can read, but must have done something wrong. Since I invested in pine nuts, will be trying it again.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s