Homemade Pesto

Pesto is one of my most favorite foods, so basil is something I knew we had to have in our garden this year.  It did quite well, and I made this batch of pesto a few weeks ago.  It was gone within the week.  My kids loved it!  I put most of it in ice cube trays to preserve and freeze for later.  Just pop them out and put them in a freezer bag or mason jar, and you have ready to use pesto!  My girls know how to boil noodles, so they loved making their own lunch on the weekends.  They boiled and drained noodles, then added about 3-4 pesto cubes of pesto per pound of pasta, stirred them into the hot pasta and lunch was served!  They loved this plain, but I loved adding some sliced cherry tomatoes, leftover shredded chicken, and shavings of fresh parm to make it a bit more filling and special.  I also kept some in a jar in the refrigerator to use as a spread on sandwiches.  Delicious!!

This recipe at “Thy Hand Hath Provided”caught my eye because you can use any type of nuts.  Pine nuts can tend to be expensive, so I used almonds.  
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup nuts (whatever you have on hand: pine nuts, pecans, walnuts, almonds, etc. or a combination)
3-6 tbsp. Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. salt
1/4-1/3 cup olive oil
a pinch of nutmeg

Combine all but oil in a food processor.  Process, slowly adding oil until desired consistency.  

I’ve been a bit busy lately, so my basil is growing like crazy out in the garden,  quite neglected.  I am hoping to get a few more batches made before the cool weather hits, as basil hates to be cold and will die on me.  I’d love to make a huge batch and give some away in jars with these super cute printables from Givers Log.  How cute are they?? 

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  • Marie @ Chocolate-Covered Chaos
    September 13, 2010 at 12:07 am

    I’m so glad you posted this! I’ve been looking for a good pesto recipe for the basil in my garden. I love the ice cube idea and the fact that I don’t have to buy pine nuts! It’s getting cool here, so I’ll be making this recipe this week…before I lose my basil. Thanks, Amy! Hope you get more rest. I’ll be praying for you during your chemo.

  • Beth
    September 12, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    Crazy cool! I finally picked up a basil plant at TJ’s this week, bound and determined to have fresh basil all winter long. I resisted because I wasn’t sure where to keep the plant in my house but my friend keeps hers in her kitchen window so I felt inspired to do the same. The plant was already brimming with huge leaves so I cut a bunch and was just wondering about a good recipe for homemade pesto. Thanks so much for this post. I really love the idea of the pesto cubes.

  • For the Love of Naps - Sarah
    September 12, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    I do the same thing, freezing pesto. My boys love it. And I use walnuts. I hope to do another round here today!

  • Kelly Morris
    September 12, 2010 at 12:52 am

    I promised myself all summer that I would get pesto made, but alas, didn’t happen.

    Yours look great!


  • jeana
    September 11, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    So glad you posted this! I always have almonds on hand and never want to buy the pine nuts. Can’t wait to try it. I love making homemdae pizza with pesto as the sauce, chicken, and veggies. I also love to have it on toast with an egg sunny side up and parmesan cheese for breakfast. Love me some pesto, thank you!

  • Lana
    September 11, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    I’m relatively new to pesto, but I really like it. I will keep this recipe around in the “Good Idea” box!

    I don’t have a food processor either, but it might just find its way to my Christmas list!

  • Farmgirl Cyn
    September 11, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    You should be mighty glad you didn’t use the pine nuts1 Someone from our local CSA has come down with “Pine Mouth Syndrome” from the pine nuts she bought at our local grocers. Seems that most of the pine nuts come from China where they are filtering in a less expensive variation of the pine nut and it is causing a terrible metallic taste in the mouths of some who use it. Fortunately the symptoms go away in anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks. Other than that…pesto is one of my all time favorites, and so easy peasy to put together.
    For as many years as I have made pesto, I just this year found out how to harvest it. Been doing it all wrong for years!

  • Amy Bowman
    September 11, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    Hi Amy, Elizabeth and Lana,
    Yes, I think a blender would work, but I highly recommend a food processor. I have a small, cheap one from Walmart and I’ve loved it. I went for years without one, but it is one appliance I don’t mind making room for. I love grating cheese for pizza with it!

  • elizabeth @ twelvecrafts
    September 11, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    I’ve always wanted to try making my own pesto, but I must confess I’ve been too chicken. I thought it might be too hard . . . plus every recipe I’ve read calls for a food processor. I don’t have one of those – shocking, I know. Do you think a blender on mince would work?

  • Amy Kinser
    September 11, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    So glad you are feeling up to giving us this great recipe this morning. Yours looks delish.

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