Slice of Life Friday: Got Basil?

We still have a few flourishing basil plants in our garden and it won’t be long before a fall frost blitzes them, so that means…It’s time for Uncle Steve’s Amazing Pesto Recipe. Duh!

Uncle Steve, my bro, perfected his recipe over two decades of intense gardening, taste-testing and readjusting.  Truthfully, he ate so much pesto over this time that he simply can’t even grow basil anymore. He’s done.

But his recipe lives on…

So here it is (you can thank me later):


2 cups chopped basil
3/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup pine nuts (or walnuts or parsley)
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp. salt

Blend in blender. That’s it!  Add pesto to soups and recipes. Slather it on bread with a slice of fresh mozzarella, a slice of ripe tomato (yum!). And of course it’s a wonderful coating for pasta.  If you have a ton of basil, you can spoon pesto that you won’t be using right away into freezer bags. It freezes perfectly.

Imagine having fresh pesto in the dead of winter. The fragrance of it filling your kitchen with summertime warmth…

And as a side note, if you have so many basil leaves on hand that there are even too many to convert ’em all into pesto, then just wash and pat dry these leaves and freeze them in bags.  I always have some on my freezer door and pull out a few to drop into a homemade soup or sauce.  A slice of summer at anytime.

Mangia! And enjoy.


10 thoughts on “Slice of Life Friday: Got Basil?

  1. I haven’t done this, but I have read about taking basil (or other fresh herbs) chop them up and put them in ice trays then fill with water and freeze. Once frozen you are supposed to be able to put them in freezer bags for use later.

    • Hi Sharon!
      That should work, but I’ve found there is no need to put them in water. I just crack off whatever frozen leaves I need and drop them in my cooking. I’ve also done this with other herbs, too.

      One thing that hasn’t worked for me is drying basil leaves for my spice jars. I probably did it wrong, but I found the fragrance and flavor didn’t stick around in the drying process…

      • I have a nice basil growing, and making pesto can distract me from the pain of losing my cilantro to Phyllis the deer last week. The ice cube tip will help with my problem of having lovely oregano, sage, thyme, and rosemary, but it’s too hot to put a roast in the oven.

  2. Thanks for the great recipe! Unfortunately we only got enough basil for one batch of pesto this year — it was a tough gardening year with deer, drought, too much rain, then mildew…. but maybe I’ll buy some to make this, can’t wait. Yum!

  3. Ever since I received this recipe from him I am the pesto “Queen” in my house. I must have made 25 pints this summer! We are ready for the winter!!

    • Hi Lydia!

      Yes! It really is the perfect recipe. It’s really best with the pine nuts, but I’ve used walnuts this summer, which is functional.

      One other thing I forgot to mention…if you are using pine nuts, I suggest blending all the other ingredients first, then adding in the pine nuts last and blending it a little bit less so that there are a few chunks of pine nuts floating around.

      Pesto heaven…

  4. My granddaughter and I made this today. I had copied the recipe onto a piece of paper that I had slid between pages of a cookbook. Recently, my granddaughter found the paper and wanted to make it. So we did. Thank you.

    • Yeah! So glad. 🙂 My freezer is full of bags of pesto from our summer basil crop. I use quart freezer bags. Nothing like fresh-smelling pesto in mid winter to cheer you up and make you start feeling summery.


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