Pesto Presto!

Basil HarvestThere is nothing that makes the kitchen smell as heavenly as pesto making. The combination of crushed garlic and basil is mouthwateringly aromatic. Plus, according to Tracey Lewindon of Nature’s Heart Aromatherapy, basil also clears sinuses and increases energy.  Bonus!

Harvesting a bounty of herbs from the garden is soul satisfying and enjoying summer’s freshness during the dark gloominess of winter is energizing on its own. Yes, a bright pesto-infused dish will get me up off the couch and out from under my cosy quilts. Do feel free to eat it in your flannel jammies, though.

This particular pesto recipe came to me via a dear friend of my mother’s.  My mom has a lovely collection of ‘old doll’ girlfriends who share a love of food and cookery and showered us in that delicious love for years.

My nieces and nephews grew up calling this particular friend Nanna Pasta. I call her Nanna Pesto. The reason is in this recipe.

  • 2 cups basil leaves, firmly packed
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3/4 cup parmesan*
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

pesto makingChop up pine nuts and garlic in food processor. Add basil in batches. Add oil and emulsify. Add parmesan last and mix well. If desired, add sea salt.  Spoon into ice cube trays or small muffin cups and freeze. When frozen, pop out of trays and store in plastic bags in freezer. One cube is good for seasoning soups, stews etc. Use up to four cubes for pasta sauce or 1 to 2 muffin size portions. This recipe makes just shy of one ice cube tray, or fills  one small 6 cup muffin tin. *To make  a vegan version, simply omit the parm.

You can make another perky little pesto with this recipe using fresh parsley.

And then you get all of parsley’s special benefits, too. :)


Where I’m located, the seasons just changed from summer to fall and we are enjoying rain and wind storms. Tonight I’m serving grilled local lamb, baked squash and a pesto cream penne. A perfect marriage of summer’s bounty and fall’s harvest.


What seasonal savouries are you serving up?

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About Vicki

I’m a coach and consultant and in my spare time I like to cook and play house. I believe happy idleness is a purposeful pathway to a contented life. And I am happiest either in my pajamas or an apron – or both.


  1. I am sure that the kitchen smelled divine!
    Thanks for the recipe, and for the mention :)

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