"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant."
Robert Louis Stevenson

Sunday, August 1, 2010


"To have nothing but Sweet Herbs, and those only choice ones too, and every kind its bed by itself." 
-Desiderius Erasmus
Basil in early June 2010

I planted so much basil this year and I am being rewarded with plenty to make my own pesto.  I store this in small jars that I have recycled.  You can freeze it at this point, but be sure to use freezer safe glass or plastic containers.  You can purchase freezer safe  jars at many supermarkets.

Here is the recipe I have used for many years.  Not sure where I found it, but it is perfect every time.  I added the addition of Lemon zest because I like the flavor and also this will keep your basil green.

Basil Pesto Sauce

4 cups tightly packed fresh Basil  leaves (all stems removed)
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 teaspoon fresh Lemon Zest
6 sprigs fresh Parsley, (leaves only stems removed)
Sea Salt and ground Pepper to taste
1/4 cup Pine Nuts, Walnuts, or Almonds
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese

Wash the Parsley and Basil leaves in cool water, spin until very dry in a salad spinner or use paper towels.  Place leaves in a food processor.  Add Oil, Garlic, Lemon Zest, Sea Salt, Pepper, and Nuts.  Pulse blend until all is chopped, stopping to scrape down sides.  Add the grated Parmesan and give a few quick pulses to blend.  Refrigerate in airtight container.  Makes about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of pesto.

( From the seeds planted in May) Washed Basil Leaves
Leaves Dried in Salad Spinner
Have your ingredients ready to go
Pesto should look like this when processed
small amount of oil will remain on top
Ready for refrigerator or freezer


  1. yumm-o! looks wonderful. I will have to try your basil recipe. Wow on those tomatoes. We are zone 4 and yesterday I harvested my first tomatoes. I plan to put some up. Maybe I should try your freezer recipe. Canning can really get the kitchen hot. Either way I love to put up tomatoes.

  2. I love Pesto. Yours looks delicious! I have tons of Basil too and last time I made it for my husband with Almonds over pasta and he loved it! By the way, I was wondering do you know anything about getting your posts thumbnails to show up on Blogger dashboard? Mine disappeared! I've been so frustrated trying to figure this out the last few hours, I went to the help topic, online, did the site feed to full, etc. if you know please e-mail me or add a comment to my blog. I truly appreciate it. Hope you're having a great weekend :)

  3. I'm with you and love pesto! Great recipe.

  4. Carla,
    Well, having stuffed my greenhouse full of Basil this recipe came in good time.

  5. Gloria, the freezer method is so much easier. And with the tomatoes being roasted, it is much the same consistancy as with canning. I froze some salsa Friday and yesterday more tomatoes! We will have lots for soup this winter.

  6. Joey and Doc, Thank you for stopping in!

  7. I adore pesto! One of the few things I look forward to here in the hot summers. I made lots last year and it froze well and lasted all year. Haven't made as much this year but plan to start soon.

  8. Mo, it is wonderful to bring out a jar from the freezer in the winter months; tastes like summer!

  9. lovely! I was just thinking that I need to harvest my basil and make pesto. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  10. Carla, thanks for stopping by my blog! I think it's working now, all of the sudden. The thumbnails of my posts are back on the dashboard. I appreciate you willing to help. By the way I enjoy looking at your pesto picture, I think I should make it for my husband again, tons of Basil growing in the garden now!

  11. Hi Carla, Your pesto looks yummy. I have lots of basil but not the rest of the ingredients. What else can you do with basil?

  12. Carla, Thank you for leaving the simple 'recipe' at my blog. I appreciate it. Will try it out.

  13. Adding lemon zest sounds like a nice touch. I have started a separate section
    in my new garden notebook just for great tips & recipes that you provide. Also like the idea of roasting the tomatoes before freezing. Thanks so much for sharing.
    Have a good summer filled week!

  14. Perhaps you in turn can inspire me to make pesto from the basil growing like mad in the garden instead of buying little glass jars, imported from Italy to South Africa. At least the jars get passed on to neighbours to be refilled with jam or honey.


Thank you for taking time to visit my blog, I love hearing from you, stay as long as you like, Carla