Basic Pesto

Since fall is here and therefore it will be winter in a few days, I decided it’s time to start going through the herb garden to save whatever I can.  I have plans to dry the thyme, lavender, sage, and maybe some chives, and on Sunday I made tons of pesto to freeze.  Mom gave me a little hint to freeze the pesto in ice-cube trays for individual serving sized portions for easy defrosting (thanks Mom!)

For all of you out there who either just want pesto (understandably…it’s delicious) or have a lot of basil you don’t want to go to waste, here’s an easy recipe for you to try!

Basic Pesto

  • 1-3 cloves garlic, depending on your preference (I used one)
  • 2 C packed basil
  • 1/2 C extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 C toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste


This is super easy: put all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.  Done!


Like I said, for easy freezing you can pour the pesto into ice-cube trays and when they are frozen solid, toss them into a freezer bag and use them as you need ’em!  The pesto keeps for about three months in the freezer. I made three batches, so I may have to give a few cubes away to friends and family or we’ll never finish it all!  If you don’t want to risk having your ice-cube trays smell like garlic for the next few years, you can freeze whole batches in sandwich bags and it’ll take up barely any room in your freezer.

While I was picking the basil from the garden, I stumbled across a really disgusting but weirdly awesome infestation of giant caterpillars in my parsley (which I will never, ever, be able to eat again).  I googled them and they are black swallowtail butterfly caterpillars and love to eat parsley and fennel.  While they look gross now, I’m actually willing to share my parsley with the butterflies–some people plant it solely to attract the butterflies.  So here’s a warning: close your eyes if you don’t like bugs!


I’ll take more pictures once I have crowds of butterflies flitting about my yard.  Hopefully they’ll be much more beautiful and a lot less nauseating.

To leave on a more appetizing note, I made some quick boiled beets the other day.  I was in a rush, because normally I’d wrap the beets in foil and roast them for a stronger and sweeter beet flavor, but I only had half an hour so boiling it was.  Regardless, I had to take a picture because my parents grew these beets and they look awesome!  I have some left so I’ll roast them the right way next week and take some more pictures, but you can feast your eyes upon these beauties for now.


Filed under Sauces

8 responses to “Basic Pesto

  1. sarah

    I was going to say… i don’t remember caterpillar being an ingredient in pesto.

  2. I love swallowtails! You should really consider starting a bug club. 😉

    Also, I just got pesto on sale from Fresh & Easy (kinda like Trader Joe’s) and stuck it in an ice cube tray just like mom used to do! Made me smile that it showed up on your blog this morning.

    Love you!!

    xxx -Ere

  3. Hannah

    Warn kristen about the caterpillar picture. If she scrolls to that, she may have a heart attack.

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