Traditional Home-Made Pesto; the update

Almost Traditional Home-Made Pesto….

Traditionally, pesto would be made with a mortar and pestle.

I used a blender.

But the ingredients are traditional and in the traditional proportions.

I didn’t use spinach or walnuts or canola oil or chard or cilantro or any of the other things that many cooks use so creatively.

Don’t get me wrong…. I love all the variations.

But not this time.

My basil is the biggest, healthiest, most flavorful basil I have ever had in my garden.

And, besides…. why mess with a good thing?

Pesto Sauce

Total time: 10 minutes


  • 2 cups basil, leaves only, lightly packed – meaning somewhere between crushing it into the measuring cup and dropping it in.
  • 1/3 cup fresh Parmesan, to measure cut in small cubes
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 3/4 – 1 cup good olive oil – enough to get the consistency you want for the sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic

Pesto Sauce


  • Put everything but the oil in a blender.
  • Add 1/2 cup oil and blend.  Add more oil as needed.  It really depends on how tightly you packed the basil.  I used 1 cup of oil.  It will keep about a week in the refrigerator, up to 9 months in the freezer.

Print Recipe

Mon mari has been getting ready for winter.

He decided that it’s much more pleasant to be cutting firewood in his shirtsleeves than a heavy jacket and mittens.

This lot on the platform has to be cut into thirds in order to fit into the stove. They’re all a meter long.

wood_outHe’s moving it all into the barn so it stays dry and is handier for winter.

That, and we have to make room for the two loads (10 cubic meters) coming in September.

wood_barnWhile he’s playing with the chainsaw and ax I’m playing with the herbs.

In the past I’ve frozen them for winter…

It’s easy to do: just chop and freeze in ice-cube trays, covered in either water or stock. Pop them out when frozen and store in freezer bags.

This year I decided to dry them. (I ran out of room in my freezer last year.)

I admit I do it the easy way: cut the herbs, check for spiders, worms, and other critters, remove affected bits, tie up and dry.

I know there are some who think they should be washed first – but why get them wet before drying?

As to worries about not being ‘scrupulously clean’….

When we had vines (over 500 of them) and were making wine I realized something. After making sure that everything was clean and sterilized for the vendange, it occurred to me that no one sterilized the stinkbugs… or the spiders or flies or sticks or leaves that went right into the vat with the grapes.


If you are a fig fan… The FDA allows a certain percentage of wasp body parts in fig products.

Update: For more info on figs and wasps read Kristin’s post here.

My herbs are fine..

If you want nutrition information, try this site: Calorie Count

6 thoughts on “Traditional Home-Made Pesto; the update”

  1. You guys are gluttons for work! I went back and read about the wine making and chuckled all the way through. We Americans worry too much about dirt – in the wine, the alcohol kills everything harmful. That’s why wines and beers were invented – because water wasn’t safe to drink! 🙂

  2. Kate, me too – glad he’d rather do the wood LOL

    Zoomie, the wine making was very…. enlightening… And we’ve loosened up a lot about dirt and stuff since we’ve lived here.

  3. Ahhhh – wasp body parts in figs! Eugh. I have the biggest fig tree known to man and eat oodles when they are ripe in a few weeks. I hope I can get that image out of my mind when the time comes!
    Love you pesto. Hell, why mess with the original and the best? x

  4. annelifaiers, We have 2 figs – and that’s the only thing that’s producing this year. The dogs love them.

    Tanna, we have learned that you can get a lot more in a small space if it’s neat… pain in the butt to stack, tho….

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