Making Basil Pesto

A Delicious Way to Enjoy An Abundant Harvest of Basil Year Round

Written by Trish Michaels2 Comments

Before my basil plants go to seed in the fall, I harvest it all for making basil pesto.  It’s so easy to make a bunch at once, then freeze it in ice cube trays to enjoy it all year.  When I want an instant feast, I thaw out a cube or two and add freshly grated cheese.  What a great way to use up my abundant harvest of delicious, fresh, organic basil.

INGREDIENTS (Adjust to taste)

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves (no stems)
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts (can substitute cashews or walnuts)
  • 3 medium garlic cloves (minced)
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup Parmesan or Romano cheese (add when ready to serve)
INSTRUCTIONS

Combine the basil, nuts, garlic and olive oil in a food processor.

Pulse a few times until smooth and creamy.  Add some olive oil, if needed.
Add the cheese when you’re ready to serve, especially if you’re freezing it.  Spoon mixture into ice cube trays.  Once frozen, store them in a sealed freezer bag.
Fresh pesto with whole-wheat pasta and stir-fried garden veggies.
I make pesto when my basil is flourishing.  I cut the stems leaving only the bottom few leaves.  They grow back quickly.

By Trish Michaels

I’ve been gardening organically for 20+ years. I'm mostly vegetarian. I love cooking what I grow and creating recipes to incorporate whole grains, beans and seeds. In my Jacksonville home, I lower my carbon footprint with solar power, rainwater harvesting, composting, waste reduction, etc. I'm eager to do more! I launched Sustainable North Florida in 2012 as a way to donate my digital marketing skills to help promote the many sustainable events and people greening our community - and to connect with other locals who share my passion for protecting natural resources, eating healthy and living green. My vision is a more sustainable community that lovingly supports one another with knowledge and resources. Jacksonville is a great place to call home!

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2 Comments on “Making Basil Pesto”

  1. Unfortunately it’s not a perennial here. I’ve never grown any variety that survived a North Florida winter. Even perennial types, like Thai Basil, die back each winter and must be restarted by seed each spring. Anyone else have luck growing basil as perennial in North Florida?