When we moved to a new house this year, one of the main things that I wanted was a raised bed for our vegetable and herb garden. I haven’t had much success in the past, so this year I was optimistic. We put in three basil plants, and they just blew up! The thing with herbs is that if you want them to grow more, you need to pick them. So, I picked most of the leaves off of the plants, and realized that I had more than enough to make some pesto happen.

Pesto is something that I’m fairly new to. I really didn’t know what pesto was until I started reading food blogs. Once I learned, I thought that pesto couldn’t be an everyday meal. It just looked and sounded SO fancy. I was REALLY missing out here, y’all. All you need to do is throw your ingredients in a food processor, and let it go. It’s just really easy, and adds such wonderful flavor to whatever you add it to. Heck, you don’t need to add it to anything…eat it by the spoonful. :-)

A trick that I learned from a few Twitter friends that pesto doesn’t NEED pine nuts (who knew those things were so dang pricey?!). Walnuts were the perfect substitution to pine nuts, and I totally couldn’t tell the difference!

Source: Ina Garten


  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1.5 tbsp. fresh chopped garlic (about 5 cloves)
  • 2 1/2 cups of fresh, packed basil leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese


  1. Place the walnuts and garlic in a food processor and pulse the ingredients for about 15 seconds. Add the basil, salt and pepper to the food processor, and turn on the food processor. While everything is chopping, slowly add the olive oil in through the top of the food processor until everything is well pureed. Add in the parmesan cheese, and pulse for about another minute to make sure it’s well incorporated.
  2. Serve immediately or place in a container with a small amount of olive oil on top to prevent the pesto from browning.




  1. LUUUURVE pesto. YUM!

  2. I have a low-fat version of pesto (on my blog)–it cuts down on the amount of olive oil used and uses a tomato in its place. Sounds strange, but I’ve used this recipe so many times now that “regular” pesto actually tastes a little weird/greasy to me. :)

    Also, we’ve started substituting pistachios for the pine nuts, and it’s GOOD!

    I’ve got four basil plants in my garden right now, you’ve made me want to go outside and pick all of the leaves off and whip up some pesto! :) Anything special I need to know about picking it? Just break the leaves off, right?

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