Homemade Pesto

On Friday, Andrea who works a door down from the lab I work in* and takes lunch with a group of us, brought me a bundle of fresh basil from her garden complete with a tried and true recipe. Naturally that was the first thing I made with the majority of the basil and it came out great! I over toasted the pine nuts a bit, but no harm done. This was actually the very first time I’ve ever made my own pesto and it was easier than driving down the street to the grocery store to buy it there. And of course it’s better than any store-bought kind I’ve ever had. Isn’t that true of almost every homemade food item?

I can’t wait to start using the pesto in various dishes but I still have a decent amount of basil leaves left. Besides pesto, what are other great options for the use of basil? What are your favorite recipes?

* Sadly the lab is moving this very day to the new Pharmacy building on campus so our lunch group will be divided and I will no longer be getting fresh herbs. But at the same time it’s really exciting to be moving into a brand new facility.


3 cloves garlic, peeled

3 oz. Parmesan cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes (freshly shredded is fine)

2 cups fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

1-1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. In the bowl of a food processor, add garlic. Turn on and add cheese through the feed tube. Continue processing until cheese is finely chopped.
  2. Add basil, pine nuts, salt and pepper. Process 2-3 seconds, then gradually add olive oil through the feed tube. Continue processing until thoroughly combined.
  3. Pour into an air-tight container, and top with a small amount of olive oil. Store in the refrigerator.

Source: The recipe was given to Andrea by a friend, but I am unsure of the original source.

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