When gifted with basil, what to do


I was picking some greens at the CT4MB garden when Mike, of next-door Colonial Nursery NJ, came over with a bunch of freshly cut, eager-to-please basil. With his engaging smile and an offering I could hardly refuse, it looked to me a bouquet of flowers. Simple pleasures.


So back to the question – when gifted with basil, what to do? The first thing that comes to mind is presto! pesto – an easy way out to an elaborate preparation of a meal which I almost always am inclined to do these days.


With pasta. On summer-grilled, fresh corn – finger-lickin’. On flatbread – fantastic! On your next chicken sandwich – divine.

That’s it. Here goes -

No-fail basil pesto

Prep time: 30 minutes Yield: Makes 1 cup


4 cups fresh basil leaves, tightly packed

1/2 cup pine nuts

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese

Salt/black pepper


Rinse basil leaves in water, pat dry with paper towel and chop coarsely.

In a food processor or blender, combine basil, pine nuts, garlic, and pulse a few times.

Add cheese and pulse some more.

Pour olive oil in a steady stream while the blender is on. If too thick, add more olive oil.

Salt and pepper to taste. Adjust seasoning as needed.

Store in an airtight glass jar for a week in the refrigerator or freeze for three months. (Note: add a thin layer of olive oil on top to maintain its color.)

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7 thoughts on “When gifted with basil, what to do

  1. Great idea and perfect for this beautiful sunny weather. Happen to be growing several basil plants on my deck and will try to whip up pasta with pesto over the weekend, time permitting. Thanks!

  2. Yum! and straight from our garden :)! Thanks for the recipe, will try this weekend. Did I mention I LOVE pesto!

  3. I have started to grow my own sweet basil in a small area in our garage. It started as a healthy plant, but alas, I woke up one morning with leaves all gone. Worms with fuzzy hair ate them all up. Now i am starting to grow them again. Would love to try the recipe you posted.

  4. I love basil too but being myself, the laid back “chef”, I mixed O&Co olive and basil specialty oil and their tomato powder. Poured on top of cooked angel hair nest pasta and yes, delish meal without breaking a sweat.

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