Basil Pesto

I’ve mentioned several times that I have a forest of basil in containers on my balcony… πŸ˜€Β  It has done extremely well this year, probably due to the early warmth we had in May, and the relatively mild nights since then.

If grown where it does not get rained on, it thrives!Β  It also loves heat and sunshine – of which we have had plenty.

As you can imagine, basil pesto has made a regular appearance in my kitchen over the last few weeks. We usually eat it with pasta, but it is also good dolloped on just about any summery dish!

Basil Pesto

  • 3 cups (750ml if placed in a measuring jug) fresh basil leaves (no stems!)
  • 3/4 cup (45g) pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup (15g) cashew nuts
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (50g) grated parmesan cheese

Whizz everything except the cheese in the food processor until creamy. Add the cheese and give a final brief whizz. You can add more oil if it’s too thick, or more cheese or seasoning – whatever your taste buds tell you!

Enjoy as often as possible before the basil goes over!


Note: Buy the best pine nuts you can afford – they are horrendously expensive here, but the cheaper ones can have a bitter aftertaste… Read about why here…


Link for conversion tables:

44 thoughts on “Basil Pesto

  1. Oh, thank you for this recipe, Cathy! I have a healthy sprig of basil in a pot this year–enough for a lovely caprese salad, but not much more. Still, I am determined to grow a basil forest next year, and I will file away your recipe for that. The addition of cashews is brilliant, by the way.

    • I tried adding cashews once when my pine nuts were running low, and since then I always add them… they lend the pesto a little smooth sweetness.

  2. IΒ΄m quite sure IΒ΄ll try to grow basil in pots next year. We love pasta and your basil pesto is really easy to make. Thanks for the recipe, Cathy!

    • Hi there! Hope you enjoy it! We’re having it again tonight – never tire of it in summer when the basil has so much flavour. Thanks for your comment! πŸ˜€

  3. I must get that old Cuisinart out of the barn and scrub it and use my Basil THIS way never made fresh Pesto now that I am into ALL HEALTHY living lol finally at 56 πŸ™‚ I must do this!

      • πŸ™‚ love walnuts, basil, olive oil never had pine nuts sheltered life I live if truck stops and greasy spoon don’t use it I never tried it πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ I trust you though that it will be so worth it!

          • sure will! We were discussing checking barn for objects for yard sale and I told him I was no longer selling food processor that is a start! now to go out and dig through containers and bring it in rain on Monday into Tuesday here a good time to go poke around! I have been busy making necklaces with earrings to match to sell πŸ™‚ I make my own loops from a spool of wire then hammer it to make them catch the light better I want to hit the beach late tonight and look for some treasure Sea Glass to wrap too but I am searching for lost rings πŸ™‚ Low tide is like at 8 AM tomorrow so I would leave at 4 AM and work my way into those shark infested waters lol no just to my ankles knees is where it gets scary all for a piece of glass lol

  4. I like the pictures you made, though IΒ΄m not keen on pesto myself. I was quite shocked after reading the article about the chinese pine nuts. I think itΒ΄s outrageous that shops are actually selling these horrible nuts.

  5. Love pesto. Thanks for the recipe. In New Mexico I have collected pine nuts or pinon as they call them there. Whole families make an outing of the days in autumn to gather – but it is tedious picking thru the underlaying pine needles to get them. Very delicious though when roasted.

  6. My basil didn’t germinate out in the garden this year…. I tried to sow it three different times and nothing came up. So I finally germinated it in pots on my porch and it’s FINALLY growing nicely. I probably should repot some of the plants… but I don’t know if we have much more growing time. I may not get anything out of it this year. Next year, in pots from day one.

    I made basil pesto last year with almonds…you can’t find pine nuts around here and I can’t eat other nuts. It is indeed delicious… I’ll miss the pesto all year now if I don’t get some growth from these two small pots. I guess it had to do with all the storms we had coming through here and the extremes in temperatures too. It’s been a dreadful year for gardening here this year.

    • Basil likes sunshine, so if you sow at the wrong time it will take ages. It also likes to be sown only just under the surface, barely covered if at all, and kept moist until it germinates. (I’ve been growing it for about 15 years now!) I like the idea of almonds… must try that one day too! Thanks Merrill!

      • Hi, Cathy, That’s what puzzled me. It got a lot more sunshine out in the herb bed than it does on my porch. But this year it only wanted to germinate on my porch! Go figure??? πŸ™‚

  7. Pesot is on my to-do list for today as well – though I use toasted almonds in mine. This time I’m going to try freezing some for use during the winter months and see how well it turns out. My basil has been lush this year and I really don’t want it to go to waste. Thanks for posting the pictures and recipe. Looks wonderful!

    • My tip would be to use as much as possible while fresh… I froze some finished pesto once, and although good, it did not taste anywhere near as good as fresh. I haven’t tried freezing just the basil though… Thanks for your comment Marie! πŸ˜€

  8. I have an allergy to nuts so can’t eat pesto. I’ve only had it twice – once when I didn’t realise it had nuts in (that wasn’t fun) and once when someone made it without nuts, especially for me and it was so good! I must make my own one day.

    • Home made tastes so good – I have never tried it without nuts, but I bet it’s also very tasty! I mean, basil, garlic, parmesan and olive oil sound like a great combination even without the nuts! πŸ˜€

  9. Pingback: Favourite Tools #2: Hand Blender | Words and Herbs

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