Yum Peaceful Cooking: Garlic & Basil Pesto

Friday, March 5, 2010

Garlic & Basil Pesto


It's been a weird day. I've been in a really goofy mood so you'll have to excuse me if I'm a little...I dunno....weird?

Pesto. I can't stop saying it. And for some reason I want to perform magic.

Abracadabra...make good food appear.....and PESTO!!!

Taaa taaaaaaas...errr....I mean.....Tada!!!

The first pesto I was ever introduced to was a store bought kind. And I thought it was great! Then I found out how easy it was to make so I had to try it.

WOW....huge huge difference. I don't even know what to compare it to....ok...have you ever had store bought alfredo after tasting homemade alfredo? Not even close!

Well, ok, store bought pesto isn't as awful as alfredo in a jar. I was just trying to prove a point. Plus...its super easy. Minimal ingredients. Minimal effort.....extreme results. (well...homemade alfredo is unbelievably easy too....but we'll talk about that later.)

Are you wondering why I'm making pesto when fresh basil isn't even in season yet (at least it isn't in the USA)?

1. this really cool middle eastern market that has fantastic prices had fresh basil for a lot less than the supermarket
2. the next HBin5 bread assignment calls for pesto.

(Stay tuned for that tantalizing outcome.)

Anyways....here's how I make my pesto.

2 cups packed basil leaves
3 minced garlic cloves
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

This is the first time I've done this...but this time I decided to toast my nuts

I did notice a difference in the flavor of my pesto....LOVED IT!!!

In your handy dandy food processor, process your basil until fine

Look at the difference. 2 packed cups of basil leaves....before and after.

Add the garlic, nuts, parmesan cheese and salt and pepper....

Process until fine......it'll look like green paste

Slowly add the olive oil and process for a few seconds more

And all that basil made this much pesto.

Taaaaa taaaaaaaaaaaaasssss

Anyways...I only need about 1/2 cup for my next bread project. I could store the remainder in the fridge...oooooor...save it for later by placing it in an ice cube tray

Once the pesto is frozen, I store it in a freezer bag. It defrosts really quickly and is great in a pinch for all sorts of stuff.

Add a little mayo for a nice sandwich spread....top your pasta with it or make a nice creamy pesto sauce by adding to that easy alfredo sauce I mentioned (I think I'll post that recipe soon...one I got from an Italian I went to school with). Crostini? ooooh ya...that would be good too.

Printable Version: Pesto


  1. Mmmm, pesto. Awesome. Heh, not much is as bad as Alfredo from a jar. :/

  2. yum, I love pesto. Looks delicious.

  3. I freeze mine in ice cube trays, too! I'm guessing you saved some for your pine nut and pesto bread!

  4. I think I'll be trying this one! Thanks for sharing.

  5. I'm guessing the next step is bread? I loved the pine nut/pest bread. I too have a lot of frozen pesto and it's great in this loaf. I especially loved it as a pizza crust.

  6. Great pesto! I agree, fresh is best.
    I have just discovered that the Asian market one town over has herbs for a fraction of the price of the supermarkets too. Here we can pay up to five bucks for a couple of half dead stems in the winter... I really need to get an indoor herb garden going.

  7. Oh I can't wait for fresh pesto! and wait...what? pesto bread??? Can't wait to hear 'bout that one. YUM!

  8. Beautifully Toasted Pine Nuts!!!! and awesome Pesto!!!

    So, Just like with the Oatmeal Cookies... Guess what I made last night for dinner. Are we surfing the same wave length or somthin?

  9. Bob - aint that the truth! LOL

    All things - I couldn't stop eating it just on crackers last night haha

    Joanna - Thats exactly what I'm doing! :D

    Dianna - My pleasure. I hope you like it

    Bonnie - oh good...and pizza? oh man...thats a GREAT idea! I'm going to that for sure.

    Natashya - I wish I had a green house (to keep the dogs out)...but I don't think i have room. Until that happens, I'll rely on those great little inexpensive markets. What a find, right?!

    DD - haha....I just know you'll be planting your basil soon :)

    Shane - that is just too funny!! Soo...what kind did you make? Knowing you, I doubt its "typical" lol

  10. Nothing beats homemade pesto! I cannot wait to have my basil back in my garden so I can make a ton of it.

  11. I am crazy for pesto! It's nectar of the gods! :D

    I love the ice cube tray idea! Brilliant!

  12. Can't wait for basil to be in season again, I just love it. And pesto, million things to do with it.

  13. No question, pesto is better homemade and it's easier than a lot of people think! And such a difference from store-bought.
    Love your clever idea of freezing in an ice cube tray!

  14. Waaaaaaaaaaaahhhh! I miss my basil plants :( :( :(

    Great looking pesto!
    Pesto pesto pesto.

  15. I love making my own pesto and last year I never got around to freezing any and I will never do that again! I miss it too much.

    Wish we had a Middle Eastern market close by...you are so lucky! Do they have injera bread?

  16. Mom on the Run - I've never been able to grow basil...it always gets eaten by the pests :(

    Ungourmet - I wish I could take credit that brilliance. I think my mom told me about it

    Dajana - I can't wait to see some of your millions of things. You always have incredible recipes

    Barbara - it really is worth the few minutes of effort to make it, isn't it :)

    Chris - pretty soon...spring will be here and you can have your basil plants (I keep typing pesto plants and having to delete it LOL)

    Michelle - you really should freeze it!! I've never seen injera bread but I haven't looked. I think they mostly carry armenian type foods. Isn't injera ethiopian? I'll check it out tomorrow when I go shopping though

  17. That is exactly how I make my pesto and I always make as much as I can and freeze it- I usually lay it flat in a ziplock bag then break off quarters of it- I sometimes add walnuts instead of pinenuts because they are very good especially for woman to eat!


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