Time to Make the Pesto!

Our basil this year was the best ever! It was so nice to have it available whenever I needed it this summer, but now that the nights are getting cooler I thought it was time to cut it down and make some pesto before it starts to shrivel up because that would be just too sad!

Since I wrote this post back in 201o I thought it would be nice to do an update on my beloved basil, it is now 2020, ten years later and I’m still going strong with my love for all things basil!

basil plants
My husband is still the gardener and he’s the one that grows it for me every year. We use to grow it in the ground but now we grow it in pots and the quality and taste seems even better!
picking basil
I make pesto many times during the season, I also freeze it, recently I bought some cubed silicone ice cube trays which I fill with my finished pesto, when totally frozen I then pop the cubes out and stick them into a container and tuck it back into the freezer. I can’t wait to defrost some to use in the dead of winter!
pesto ice tray

I personally do not like when pesto starts to turn brown, but years ago I found that just by blanching the leaves into boiling water for less than a minute and then submerging them quickly into ice water keeps their vibrant green color.

It’s been said that you can’t freeze pesto with the cheese in it, I’ve done it both ways and I see no difference, so I freeze mine completed with the cheese.

prepping pesto

So after picking the leaves off the branches I wash them first then get a pot of water boiling. When the water is boiling blanch the leaves for less than a minute, then into ice water which you will then squeeze dry.

An excellent tip I got years ago from a fellow blogger was to squeeze the water from spinach using a potato ricer and so I thought why not squeeze the water out of the blanched basil the same way using a potato ricer, and let me tell you it works like a charm!

When I’ve purchased store bought pesto’s in the past I find them way too garlicky or just too oily for my taste, but when you make your own you can add or subtract any of the amounts that you put into it. My advice is keep tasting it as you go along mixing it to get the right balance for you.

processor pesto

I stopped using pine nuts years ago, they’re just too expensive and then there was that whole “pine mouth” thing going around where badly produced pine nuts if eaten would take away your sense of taste and I didn’t want that to happen, so toasted walnuts it is, and you know what we love the flavor!

pesto ingredients
Good cheese like Parmigiano Reggiano,or even Pecorino Romano I have used, quality olive oil, fresh garlic and toasted nuts is all you need to make a fabulous basil pesto.

Delicious folded into warm pasta, so much flavor! Great with meats, salads, veggies, seafood and sauces, basil pesto is so versatile!

pesto recipe

Remember to keep tasting it, you might want to add more cheese, oil, salt, garlic or nuts whatever suits your own taste buds


If you have an over abundance of basil leaves like I do you might want to try Lidia’s way of preserving them.

“Pluck the whole leaves and set them in a small paper cup, fill with water until the herb is submerged, then freeze. When frozen solid, pop the block of ice with the embedded herbs out of the paper cup and into a ziplock bag. The herbs, once the ice melts will be fresh and ready to use.”
 I hope you will give this a try it was so simple to do and you can pack quite a few leaves into the paper cups, another way to preserve your beautiful basil bounty!