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My daughter wanted to learn how to make pesto. She said she had a craving and she was taking over dinner tonight. Assisted I assure you, but still her idea. I agreed and off we went to the garden. I have a small potted herb garden that is almost barren from all of the picking but it sure makes it easy when you need just that little something to perk up your dish. Herbs are so easy to take care and best of all you get to eat them after tending to them. We grabbed a hefty portion of basil and headed in. One thing we love in our homemade pesto is walnuts in place of pine nuts. I love the richness it brings with a subtle nutty flavor the pine nuts don’t seem to bring to the sauce. So tonight we are making a chicken pesto and rotini pasta with fresh cherry tomatoes and mushrooms. But first we have to make the Pesto. Creamy and rich with the luscious texture of the olive oil and Parmesan cheese. I can’t wait!


You will need:

  • 2 cups of fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts
  • 1/2-3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 whole garlic clove peeled
  • blender or food processor
  • dash of salt and pepper

This recipe is so simple. Measure out your fresh basil, packing it in, but not pressed in.


Toss basil in blender. Add in the walnuts.


Add in the parmesan cheese.

pesto4Next start pouring in the extra virgin olive oil.


Add a dash of salt and pepper, just a few turns or a sprinkling will do.  Some people like a fresh squeeze of lemon as well. I will leave that up to you.

pesto7You are ready to blend! If after blending it seems to thick, you can add another 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil. I did have to do this but I wanted mine a little thinner to coat all the noodles.

pesto8Once blended, this is when I pop the whole garlic in and give it one more spin.  That’s it!

pesto9Pour into your favorite bowl if you are using for dipping or set aside to use as a sauce like we will.  This will keep nice for about a month when refrigerated! If you do intend on keeping it that long the squeeze of lemon would be suggested. Lemon is a natural preservative.