Homemade Basil Pesto

Originally, my hurricane Dorian preparations this evening included things like, doing the laundry, doing the dishes, freezing gallon-sized bags of filtered water (just in case we lose power/water access), making sure our back-up battery is charged, etc. After talking to my husband, we decided to go ahead and harvest about half of the basil growing in the garden, just in case Dorian decides to wipe out what’s in the garden box (my garden box is pretty small – about 2.5 ft x 5 ft. or so – but it’s mighty! There are tons of tiny tomatoes, a couple of bell peppers, and lots of basil growing right now. I’d be pretty sad if it were all washed away.)

So, in addition to everything mentioned above, my plans tonight also ended up including harvesting some of the basil and making homemade pesto!

Fresh-picked basil leaves in the salad spinner

I love pesto. If I’m going to cook pasta at home (rare, but it happens), it’s going to use pesto (with Dreamfields pasta – only 4g of net carbs and it tastes good?! Yes, please!). I like to freeze mine right away and use it throughout the year. I’m not sure how long it’s actually supposed to last once frozen (given that it doesn’t have any real preservatives) but we make it last a while.

Pesto Ingredients

Fresh basil (my mom’s friend’s recipe says 8 cups, but I usually just throw in whatever I have on hand)

1-3 tablespoons chopped garlic (minced garlic in a jar would work too, but fresh garlic cloves give a stronger, fresher flavor)

1/2 – 1 cup olive oil (depending on how liquidy you like it)

  • Optional: 3/4 cup walnuts or pine nuts (I omit these)
  • Optional: 1 8oz. container grated Parmesan cheese (I omit this since I freeze mine. I find it gets very congealed if I add cheese ahead of time. I recommend waiting to add cheese – Parmesan or Mozzarella – until you’re ready to use it.)


Blend basil, olive oil, and garlic in food processor until finely chopped or almost a liquidy paste.

Blended basil, olive oil, and garlic in food processor

Add nuts (if including) and/or cheese (if including) and process until smooth-ish.

Freeze in small amounts so it’s easy to remove from the freezer and use just that bit when you’re ready. Some people recommend freezing in ice cube trays, but I haven’t tried that yet.

Finished pesto in small containers ready to freeze.

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