The Best Stuff.

My first memory of pesto is from working at Spageddies in high school. Many of our customers were reluctant to order the dish containing chicken, penne and the weird green stuff piled on top. I didn’t blame them: pesto looked gross. Being one of the more astute teen servers, I asked the manager what pesto was, exactly. Her answer helped me sell dishes and get over my fear of unknown foods: “It’s all the best stuff you could possibly think of all ground up together.”

Earlier this week, I made my first-ever pesto out of three different types of basil coming from my CSA and yard.


I added some thai basil (petite with an anise flavor) from my yard to the bounty above to create my “2 cups of firmly packed fresh basil leaves” for the pesto recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. My mom gave me my own copy a few years ago, and for this culinary staple, I figured I should go to the source for my recipe.


I decided not to mess around with the Parmesan, and brought a block home from the store. No green cans for my pesto.


I was kind of surprised that the purple color of half of my basil did not affect the outcome of my pesto. I decided to freeze the results for future usage. I promise you that one day, this very pesto will reappear in some sort of recipe. And it will be amazing. How could it not? It’s all the best stuff you can think of all ground together, right?

Homemade Pesto
Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook

1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and quartered
1/4 teas. salt
Black pepper

In a food processor bowl, combine oil, nuts, basil, cheese, garlic and salt. Cover and process or blend until nearly smooth, stopping and scraping sides as necessary. Add pepper to taste.


One thought on “The Best Stuff.

  1. Jaydubs says:

    Ha, I remember bringing a lunch of leftover pasta with pesto to school one day and having to explain to the cute guy in my art class is that the “green stuff” on top was really, really delicious. No, really, guy, it is. Promise.

    I feel like you buried the lede in this, though: How is it that you’ve never made pesto before? That’s madness. Anyway, I actually made a big ol’ batch last night–it’s pretty crazy how much four cups of basil will compact after mixed with oil, garlic and nuts (I omitted the cheese). Right now, it’s just stored in the fridge, but I’m so glad you included that pic where you used plastic wrap in the ice cube tray–I was wondering how I could possibly freeze it without forever imparting a pesto taste to my ice, and that should do the trick.

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