How to Make Basil Pesto

Making Basil Pesto

February is basil making time. In the highlands I have to wait till late spring/ early summer for the soil to warm up enough to get  seed to germinate or plants to grow well. Once in, I feed and water well for 12 to 14 weeks. Then as soon as I see them starting to put up flower heads I harvest, generally around mid to late February. If you leave a little foliage and continue to water and feed after harvest you can get a second crop if the weather stays warm. Follow the images below to see how to make this wonderful delicious herb in a versatile pesto.


Basil ready to harvest


Basil picked and ready to process


I use the recipe form the woman’s weekly “The cook’s garden” – It calls for 2 cups firmly packed basil leaves; 2 cloves of garlic; 1/2 cup roasted pine nuts; 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup olive oil.


Once picked, I pull off all the leaves and wash them. Then spin dry in a salad spinner


I get all the ingredients ready
I put the ingredients through a food processor rather than a blender. This produces a “chunkier” pesto which I prefer. I also put all the ingredients in together rather than try and process the leaves first.


From my seven basil plants I have made this many containers of pesto. I have found this usually last me until my next harvest.
I like to freeze in small container, some with enough to feed a family with Pesto spaghetti and some with just enough to add basil flavour to a dish. I also put some into jars and top with oil to keep in the fridge to put on bruschetta or to give away as gifts.

Posted on February 15, 2014 in AUTUMN, USING YOUR PRODUCE

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Responses (3)

  1. Planting Basil | myproductivebackyard
    October 19, 2014 at 2:31 am · Reply

    […] late summer veg are abundant. I love to have fresh basil in the kitchen, so after a winter of using preserved basil or pesto, to add the fabulous basil flavour to dishes, I am anxious to get some plants started so I can use […]

  2. […] have many practical uses in the kitchen and household. They can be used in cooking as seasoning, to make pesto, herbal vinegars, herbal butters etc or medicinally to make herbal remedies for the family, for […]

  3. […] as pinching back growing tips to encourage branching; removing, or deadheading, spent flowers or regularly harvesting up to a 1/3 of your plants and preserve them. • Pinching back annual herbs throughout the growing season is the best way to maintain healthy, […]

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