I grow basil in pots or window boxes just for pesto.   It’s very, very easy to grow from seed, and doesn’t really have any pests.  You can harvest leaves all summer.  I keep it shaded to keep the soil moist until the seeds germinate for best results, and it’s definitely a warm weather crop.  Don’t start it until any chance of frost is well past.
 "The Ultimate Southern Living Cook Book" has the recipe I use for pesto…this is simply a classic.  Use it on ravioli, spaghetti, potato salad, in soups and as a sauce for fish, pork, and any other recipe you would buy pesto for.  I freeze it before the end of the season so we can enjoy that great flavor all winter.
I often use both basil and parsley half and half for a milder pesto.  I don't add the cheese if I freeze it, but when I use it.    Use good olive oil and good block cheeses and grate them yourself…they are very important to the good flavor; and when you grow your own basil you can afford good cheese.                
  2          Cups  Fresh Basil Leaves   (about 3 ½ ounces)
     ¼      Cup  Walnuts -- or pine nuts
     ¼ to ½  Cup  Olive Oil
  2         Teaspoons  Lemon Juice
  2         Cloves  Garlic
  1         Teaspoon  Salt
     ¼     Cup  Parmesan Cheese -- freshly grated
  2        Tablespoons  Romano Cheese -- freshly grated
Process first 6 ingredients in a food processor or blender 2 minutes or until smooth, stopping twice to scrape down sides.  Stir in cheeses.
Toss desired amount of pesto with hot cooked pasta or spoon 2 tablespoons pesto into 6 sections of an ice cube tray; cover and freeze up to 3 months.
Thaw and reheat slowly before serving. 
Yield:  "2/3 Cup"


  1. Beautiful!! I can almost smell the goodness from your kitchen! Reminds me I need to put away another batch before our first hard frost or freeze. Thanks for another beautiful post. dkc

  2. I LOVE homemade pesto, it is so good. Very easy to make as well.


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