Presto, Pesto!

Who doesn’t love a good serving of pesto?  It can be used on pasta, sandwiches, as a spread, or just on some crackers.


IMG 2822 1 1024x681 - Presto, Pesto! Despite being in our courtyard, my little herb garden is quite prolific this summer.


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Once we kept the slugs away from the basil by getting them drunk, it really took off.  Now I have enough to make pesto every week.


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If you keep the ingredients on hand, pesto can be made in just a few minutes.  I don’t use a recipe when making pesto since I have made it so often.  So, today I have once again gone to my girl Ina and am sharing the Barefoot Contessa’s pesto recipe.



  • 1/4 cup walnuts or pecans

  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (NOTE:  I use sunflower seeds).

  • 3 tablespoons chopped garlic

  • 5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 1/2 cups good olive oil (I use way less oil).

  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan


Place the walnuts, pine nuts, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 15 seconds. Add the basil leaves, salt, and pepper. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly pureed. Add the Parmesan and puree for a minute. Use right away or store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin film of olive oil on top.


Notes: Air is the enemy of pesto. For freezing, pack it in containers with a film of oil or plastic wrap directly on top with the air pressed out.


To clean basil, remove the leaves, swirl them in a bowl of water, and then spin them very dry in a salad spinner. Store them in a closed plastic bag with a slightly damp paper towel. As long as the leaves are dry they will stay green for several days.


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This is the best shade of green.  And get this – if you don’t have basil, you can substitute parsley for a different flavor.


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 It is easy to freeze and use at a later date.  I always think of summer when I smell basil, and using pesto in a dish in the cold winter months always brings a smile to my face.

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Have a great week-end, and take care.


  1. jamie says

    slugs won at my house. will have to remeber your tip net year. did you have to continually keep beer out or just until you drowned the initial slugs?

    • says


      Oh no. You will beat the slugs next year. I put fresh beer out for a couple of nights and then I stopped when I didn’t get any more slugs. So a couple nights should do the trick. Good luck.


  2. says

    This recipe sounds awesome! I just did a post on making Pesto and I added the link to this post because I am going to try this recipe on the next batch of Basil we harvest. Thanks!