Basil Pesto! That magical green spread.

I love pesto. I could eat it with a spoon. It works in so many things: pasta, fish, chicken, sandwiches, and dressings. It is a wonderful condiment, an amazing mixture of Parmesan, basil and walnuts. I just love it. Love it, love it, love it. Even when I was little I liked it. The green color did not put me off, though several of my girlfriends refused to try it till we reached middle school. We grow Thai basil (the best kind…try it and you’ll agree) in our garden now because we make it so often and use it in so many things.

This recipe is based on the one from The Silver Palate Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins. My mother found this book at least two decades ago and made this recipe her own probably before I was born. This is her recipe, sufficiently changed as to no longer be the recipe of Ms. Rosso or Lukins, though I still want to give them as much credit as is possible, as these two amazing ladies taught me how to cook my first whole chicken.

Basil Pesto


2 cups basil, packed

1 cup walnuts (pecans work as well)

1-2 cloves garlic

1/2-3/4 cup oil (add to desired consistency)

1 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Combine the basil, garlic, and walnuts in an immersion blender and blend on high till the ingredients are finely chopped together.
  2. Add the oil slowly until the mixture is smooth but not soupy. Do not put all of the oil in the mixture at once. Too much oil will make the pesto thin and it will lose its flavor.
  3. Add the cheese to the pesto. If freezing, skip this step and add the cheese when you plan to use the pesto. Add more oil here if the pesto is too clumpy. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

A preview on my next post: Want to know what to use the pesto with? Try tilapia, a Panini, or in a dressing.




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