This is the first summer in at least 4 years that I’ve had enough basil to make pesto.  Since I didn’t have a fenced in deer proof area, I’d only had a few pots of it growing on the deck and it doesn’t grow in pots like it grows in the ground . . not for me anyway.  All week I’d planned to make pesto but had to can tomatoes one day, green beans the next and just hadn’t gotten around to it.  Yesterday evening when I was out watering, I looked at the basil that was about to make seeds and said . . you have to cut that basil back .. tonight! So, I trimmed 3 of the 8 plants and this is how much I ended up with.  I tried stuffing it in the colander to wash but it overflowed and took way longer to snip the leaves and wash them than it actually did to make the pesto.

Here’s how I make mine:


2 cups as full as you can fill them of washed basil leaves (mash them down and get as many as you can in the cup)
1/4 – 3/8 cup olive oil
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 T. chopped garlic
1 T. Fruit Fresh or lemon juice

In a food processor, chop/blend the olive oil, cheese, pine nuts and garlic.

Add the basil leaves and Fruit Fresh and process til desired consistency.  I like mine just barely chopped up.

Put into small containers and freeze.  I often freeze mine in ice  cube trays but they seem to have disappeared.  Once it’s frozen, dump them into a zipper freezer bag.  For this batch, I filled the little 1/2 cup containers I had and then I sprayed Pam on plastic wrap and wrapped up 1/2 cup amounts.

Then the little packets went into the freezer bag.

This ended up being 6 cups of pesto and I’ll get twice that much when I trim the remaining plants and hopefully, the plants will continue to produce right up til the first frost.   Yep, it’s a very good year for pesto! 🙂  It’s so easy to make and there’s so much you can do with it and oh . . it’s so good!  It was really hard to keep my spoon out of that but it was kinda late at night to be eating so much garlic.  You never know though . . we could have vampires.  Maybe I should . . nevermind . . I’m not eating it all.  I’ll be a nice mom/wife and share it with my family.


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    Hi Judy – I love making pesto as well and I put some up with sun dried tomatoes chopped up finely (can run in food processor but not too fine!) too. I can just pull one of those out toss it with some sauted chicken breasts and throw over pasta. There is NOTHING like home made!!

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    Julianne says

    Judy My basil did OK in pots but not nearly as nice as when planted in the round. I did not have nearly as much as you but I harvested mine this week to. I just used olive oil and garlic with mine, that way I can use it in salad dressing, marinades or whatever I like. I can add the Parmesan cheese and pin nuts as needed or not. LOL Tonight for dinner we are having pasta ( store bought ) with my version of white sauce with some of my basil puree.

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    Evelyn says

    Every time I make stew or soup – I always add an “ice cube” or two of home-made pesto. Those ice cube portions sure are easy to use. I love home-made pesto! Your plants have been very good to you this year! Cheers! Evelyn

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    Well I learn something new every day, I had no idea pesto froze well, thanks for that tip!

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    I thought of you and Vince and the bees this afternoon. My parent’s neighbor has bees and has given them honey before. My sister has a crush on said neighbor (even though everyone is married!) and she designed and ordered him some hang tags for his bottles of honey. We walked them down to him tonight in hopes of scoring me some honey to take home. He sold me a huge mayo-sized jar full for $9. Yummy! Now all I need is some home made biscuits!

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    Greg says

    Thanks for the inspiration! I just made pesto vinaigrette for my steak salad (leftover filet minon!). Yum. I also like to plop a frozen cube of pesto into spaghetti sauce.

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    CindyC says

    I have never made pesto. I will have to give it a try. Will do some with pine nuts some without. Also, do you think that it will work good with other varieties of basil. I did not plant sweet basil this year. I have spicy and purple. Do you think it will work with these?

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      For the ‘never used it” I throw a whack of it in the saute pan before I toss in chicken breast. I’ve been known to add to cubed chicken which you can then add to pasta or add to a cold pasta salad or over a green salad with croutons and shaved parmesan. or I do full breasts or strips and just eat them with veges etc. I also use mine tossed in pasta without any chicken, or drop in the spaghetti sauce pot as it’s cooking.
      You can put a nice dollop on top of grilled salmon or grilled steaks. I haven’t gotten around to using it on pork yet – but I guess I should!!
      I use a LOT of it making brushetta! Just chop roma tomatoes into about 1/4″ pieces then add pesto and let sit while you toast italian bread slices and shave parmesan, smear toast with herbed cheese, top with tomato mix and sliced parm. YUMMY – I also like shaving my parm for the top with my vegetable peeler – nice thins strips and quick and safe!!


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    Diane says

    I went out to pick my basil the other day and there was nothing left! Something ate it all! Just left little sticks. That was a big disappointment as I had a beautiful crop going.