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Fresh Basil Pesto

The other day I was wandering through the produce section at our local market and stumbled upon “live basil” it was gorgeous and the scent was simply intoxicating. I immediately tossed two into my cart and thought they’d be the perfect replacement for the three basil plants that I have already managed to kill this summer. Most plants meet an early demise when under my care, but that hasn’t stopped me from planting them year after year.

I got home, put away the groceries and managed to drag a bag of potting soil through the house and onto the back deck – leaving a nice trail of dirt across the kitchen tile and living room carpet. Why didn’t I take it around the house? That would be because it’s hot and I’m lazy; therefore, I’m not all about the outdoors right now – or ever really. So I cleaned up the mess and headed out back clad in a nasty apron, gardening gloves and toting a mini shovel.

I successfully got the dirt into the pot without issue, dug a little hole and removed the “live basil” plant from its containerto read the following bold message:“Not recommended for planting.” And there you have it, folks – a typical moment in my home. In my defense, the market does sell fresh herbs for planting – these just weren’t those plants.

Moral of the story: When life hands you two huge basil plants that aren’t recommended for planting – make basil pesto and lots of it. Oh, and words in bold usually indicate something important.

This basil pesto recipe is loaded with bold flavors and tastes stellar with a loaf of fresh, crusty bread. It’s also pretty fab as a pasta sauce, a spread for sandwiches and a topping for roasted vegetables.

More Pesto Goodness:

Tomato Basil Dip from i am mommy
Pressed Sandwiches from Simple Bites
Almond Herb Tarts with Dandelion Pesto from Roost
Garlic Scape Pesto and Mushroom Pizza from My Kitchen Addition

Fresh Basil Pesto


3 cups packed fresh basil
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted until golden and cooled
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste


In a food processor or blender, combine basil and about 2 tablespoons of the extra virgin olive oil, blend into a paste. Add pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and remaining oil and pulse until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


- Basil Pesto can be made up to three days in advance. Refrigerate it in a sealed container.
- If you cannot find pine nuts, you can substitute them with a variety of other items such as walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, or pistachios.
- If you prefer your basil pesto to be a little thinner, simple drizzle in more olive oil until you reach the desired consistency.
- If you are unsure how to toast the pine nuts, check out this guide on How to Toast Nuts.

All images and text ©

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Saturday 10th of August 2019

After pouring out you freshly made batch of pesto, you can “rinse” the blender or food processor by adding in 2/3 c oil and 1/3 c white wine vinegar or lemon juice, add salt and pepper to taste.  Pulse the blender to get an awesome pesto vinaigrette that is amazing on a tomato/cucumber/avocado salad.  Good to the last drop!

Slso when basil is not available, pesto can be made with other herbs such as parsley, or leafs like baby kale, spinach.  Or a mixture of all, with or without basil. Why not add in some mint and or chives!


Sunday 11th of August 2019

Thanks so much for stopping by, Evelyne! I appreciate you taking the time to comment. Happy Baking! -Jamie


Friday 12th of June 2015

Amazing now i can do my very own pesto :-) Great for my party this weekend :-)


Sunday 14th of June 2015

Caroline- I hope you get the chance to try it. Thanks for visiting.



Saturday 2nd of August 2014

This is a great easy pesto recipe. Thanks so much!

kate a

Thursday 5th of September 2013

I made pesto tonight!! I added a squirt of lemon juice to mine and spread it on top of chicken and then put diced tomato on top of all of that and baked. Yum!! Love your blog!


Sunday 8th of September 2013


That sounds delicious! I need to make it. Thank you so much for sharing and have a wonderful day!


Easy & Delicious Pesto Pasta Salad For Summer | integrations

Thursday 11th of July 2013

[...] 1 jar pesto*  (per 1lb of pasta) or you could certainly make your own fresh pesto with this recipe 1 cup sweet pearl tomatoes (cut in 1/2 or if larger slice in 1/4ths) 1 small sweet maui onion [...]

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