Monday, September 7, 2009


If I were living on a stranded island and could eat only one food ... I would request Pesto. Seriously. Yes, it is that strange colored green stuff shown in the above photo. And yes, I have been known to eat it by the spoonful.

My favorite part of the harvest season is making up batches and batches of this sauce. Sadly, my husband doesn't share the same affinity for it ... frankly, he thinks it stinks something awful (this coming from a guy who hates the smell of cinnamon too - I mean - can he even be trusted?). I on the other hand think the smell is heavenly.

So - for those of you who have yet to try this sauce I am going to give you the basics so that you can whip a batch this week and let me know what you think. Here is the thing ... there is a "recipe" for Pesto sauce but I never use it. Making Pesto is all about personal taste. And I have not met two seasoned pesto makers who make it alike. So, for those wanting a recipe from which to start, here it is:

Fresh Basil Pesto Recipe:


2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced

Special equipment needed:

A food processor


1 Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.

2 Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Makes 1 cup.

OK --- Now that you know the recipe --- here is what I do --- I take huge bunches of fresh basil (sometimes mixed with parsley and/or spinach leaves), handfuls of walnuts, freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, spoonfuls of garlic, and as much olive oil as seems necessary --- and then I just stuff that all into my food processor and give it a whirl for as long as it takes to make sauce (adding additional olive oil as needed). I then take a taste every once in a while and see what I may want more of in order for it to be to my liking.

And that's it. It comes out different every time. And I love it every time. Holy Yum.

I use pesto sauce on pasta, toast, vegetables, pizza, etc.

So, let me know how you make it --- or whether you love or hate it --- etc. Would love to hear some new uses for Pesto and/or different ways of making it.




P.S. By the way --- it keeps for a long while in the fridge and can also be frozen to enjoy during the months leading up to next harvest season.

P.P.S. The winner of our Toy Story Giveaway is Tara Rison! Congrats. And thank you all for the great Toy Story movie lines. I will be hosting another giveaway soon.


Missy said...

i love pest too! i didn't know i could make it....i usually buy the Knorr packet....much cheaper, but it's not thick....

too excited to make it!

i recently made chix pesto pizza....

make your crust/prebought or boboli

spread pesto on the shell
add cooked chix
1jar artichokes chopped
italian chesse

bake unto golden brown and cheese is melted.

one of my hubby's fav.

Jodi Renshaw said...

Great recipe Missy! But you should totally make your own pesto if you can. Basil can be pricey, but maybe you could grow your own next year. Even on the windowsill. We get ours from a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). I paid about $300 for a share in a farm and get all sorts of great veggies and herbs all season long. Maybe you have one in your area?


Perla said...

i LOVE pesto! i've never made my own but you have inspired me and i think that perhaps i will give it a go...

Ally at Zwaggle said...

OK... now I'm SERIOUSLY hungry for some pesto! I might just have to go to the store to get some of those fabulous ingredients!

Jodi Renshaw said...

Ok you three ... you all have blogs ... and I want to see some homemade pesto up on each of them. It is so easy and SO incredibly tasty.

Also -- I have mixed both cooked and raw spinach into the pesto before too ... and I think that was my fave.

Tell me how it goes :)


Tara Rison said...

Can I come over for dinner?