Basil Pesto

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I have a confession. I have a black thumb. I know this, my family knows this. If a plant can’t grow well with neglect, then keep it away from me. The pl,ant people at the nurseries can swear up and down “just stick it in a hole and it’ll grow. I’ve taken that dare and proved them all wrong.

In the strange event a plant does start to thrive, inevitably it’ll get run over by the lawn mower.

I’m worse with house plants. You have to water those. I might try to keep up with the watering for a week or two but then, sitting over on the windowsill, out of sight, yup, don’t get me house plants.

The exception to this rule seems to be Herbs!

It started last year. Just like always, we bought a few plants to kill. You know, tomatoes, peppers. Things we could grow in containers.  Just a couple, we know we’re not farmers. I saw a mint plant. I have fond memories of mint growing wild as a kid and I love the smell of fresh mint. I could sniff it all day long. So we bought that plant too.


Two months later, the tomatoes and peppers are pitiful. Not one edible veggie among them. The mint though, it’s doing pretty good.  Content that we’ve fulfilled our role as plant killers for the season, we just let everything die a peaceful death.

Or so we thought. The mint, that mint, it’s tough. The first sign of warm weather this spring and it’s rising from the dirt. It’s alive!  And with no help from me.

Maybe I can grow herbs. I’ve always wanted to make my own Pesto so off to my favorite Ace Hardware. 3 beautiful basil plants and I’m set. I cut them back and plant them. Those cuttings were enough for my first batch of pesto.

w-basil plants

It’s a good thing Herbs seem to like me. My son has fallen in love with Pesto. So much so that I bought a few more plants. I might even have what some would refer to as a garden.

Basil Pesto


  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic or 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Using a food processor, combine basil, garlic and nuts. Pulse a few times for a rough chop. Add in 1/2 cup olive oil and process until desired consistency, adding more oil if needed.
  2. Stir in parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Store in refrigerator and stir well before using.


I’m sharing at some of these great parties.

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  1. Herbs are amazing-they’re all ya need anyway 😉 This pesto looks PERRRFECT!!

  2. Pesto is one of my favorite things! I’d love to be able to grow my own herbs, it must be amazing with fresh basil.

  3. I have that same problem with plants, Joan. I’m so thankful my husband has a green thumb, I love herbs but they wouldn’t survive if it were up to me. Love pesto and all you can do with the yummy stuff, your’s looks delish!

  4. Mmm – i just planted some fresh basil in my patio herb pot – so now I can make this too! Thanks for sharing your fab kithen countertop makeover at Project Inspire{d} linky party!! Heather

  5. We have tried over and over to grow tomatoes here, with no luck! Too hot. Too much rain. But the basil and other herbs are ok. Great to use for pasta-love pesto!

  6. I’m trying my hand at gardening this year too. I’ve done a few things in pots before but this year I’m attempting to turn a couple of flower beds into gardens. My lettuce got beautiful so I’m feeling hopeful. :0

    I also just bought a basil plant and honestly, was wondering if I was crazy since I wasn’t sure what I was going to use it for. Thanks for reminding me of pesto! This recipe looks yummy and doable. Looking forward to trying it once my plant takes off. :)

  7. I swear I am going to try making my own pesto this year! I buy pesto almost literally by the case! LOL This looks fantastic, Joan! I also like that it’s made with walnuts or pecans, a bit less expensive than pine nuts, normally used in basil pesto.

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