Basil Pesto

Our first attempts at growing basil were not very successful.  Our basil plants had sad little stems with yellow leaves on them that finally just died. Much to our surprise, our basil plants in the last couple of years have turned into bushes. We started planting them together with our tomato plants. I also learned that you had to snip off the flowers to encourage more growth. I am happy to report that that trick really works.  Now that we had bushes filled with basil, we needed to find something to do with it. We decided to make basil pesto.

I was so excited to learn that pesto is really easy to make. Every year we seem to tweak the recipe to try different flavor combinations. Last year we added Hungarian wax peppers to the recipe and absolutely loved it. I still go back to this basic pesto recipe because it is absolutely delicious.

Basil, Parmesan cheese and fresh garlic make for amazing pesto which is great all by itself, in sauce, as a dip or on sandwiches. My favorite way to serve this pesto is on pasta. It is just amazing.

We store the pesto in small Ball canning jars, label them with the date and store them in the freezer to use all year long. Pesto can be kept in the freezer for up to one year. The small jars of pesto make great gifts too.

Don’t want to make bars? Click here for our Gorp recipe.

For more delicious vegetarian recipes, please visit our recipe page.

Print Recipe
Basil Pesto
Store pesto in airtight containers in the freezer for up to one year. Refrigerate for up to one week. If using canning jars allow 1/4" headspace and top pesto with a tsp of olive oil before freezing.
basil pesto
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Rating: 0
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Rate this recipe!
Course Sauces
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings
cups
Ingredients
Course Sauces
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings
cups
Ingredients
basil pesto
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. Using a food processor, finely chop the garlic.
  2. Add basil a little at a time, pulsing until it is finely chopped.
  3. Add the pine nuts to the basil and garlic and process until well incorporated.
  4. If desired, chop the pepper and add to the food processor. You can remove the seeds from the pepper if you like. We leave the seeds in for more heat.
  5. Add the cheese and blend until the mix has the consistency of paste.
  6. Add olive oil slowly, blending well.
  7. Store your pesto in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to one week or freeze for up to a year. Stir well before using.
Recipe Notes

Pesto can also be frozen in ice cube trays and then stored in a freezer safe container or bag.  I store mine in small canning jars and then refrigerate for up to a week. I add the salt and pepper to taste depending on what I am using the pesto for.  A little goes a very long way.

The pesto would be great with our Pesto Focaccia Bread, for recipe click here.

This Basil Pesto recipe is Gluten Free and Vegetarian.

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