Southern Pesto

Submitted by Christi


I’ve been showing you pictures from my garden and of my basil. Today, I went and harvested basil and made a classic basil pesto.

Classic Basil Pesto

2 cups (packed) basil leaves (cleaned and dried)
1/2 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese, finely grated
1/3 cup pine nuts (I lightly toast mine)
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Place all the ingredients except for the olive oil in a food processor. Process the ingredients until they are well blended. Add the olive oil through the top tube of the food processor in a slow steady stream until it is all incorporated.

Place the basil in a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap touching the pesto. If you would like to freeze the pesto, place it in a freezer safe container and drizzle olive oil on top or pour into ice cube trays topping with olive oil and freeze. Pesto may be frozen up to 3 months.

Now, what am I going to do with this pesto? There are so many possibilities but here are three of my favorites:

Pesto and Pasta

Cook spaghetti in boiling water until done. While the spaghetti is cooking, fry 6 pieces of bacon. Drain and crumble bacon. In a little of the bacon grease, saute a small chopped onion. Add a can of drained, diced tomatoes, 1 cup of pesto and the bacon crumbles. Add the cooked, drained pasta to the pesto mixture and serve.

Pesto Bruschetta

Slice a loaf of French bread in half lengthwise. Spread pesto on both halves. Toast the bread halves in the oven until crispy and golden.

Pesto and Prosciutto on Puffed Pastry

Thaw a slice of puff pastry. Roll the creases out of the pastry. Spread the pesto within 1/2 inch of the boarder of the pastry. Place prosciutto (or smoked ham) slices on top of the pesto layer. Roll up the pastry starting with the long end to form a roll. Cut 1/2 inch slices off the roll and bake at 400 degrees F. for about 20 – 30 minutes until golden brown and puffed.

Okay, after writing that, I’m hungry! Happy pesto!

Today’s Lagniappe: Pesto Variations
Don’t have basil growing? Try some of these pesto variations. I always toast the nuts, but, you don’t have to if you don’t want to.

  • spinach and walnuts
  • arugula and pine nuts
  • parsley/thyme and walnuts
  • sage and walnuts
  • roasted red peppers and no nuts

You get the idea. There are endless possibilities!


It’s a three-for Tuesday! Join these great blogs for more recipes and great ideas.

Balancing Beauty and Bedlam’s Tasty Tuesday

Blessed with Grace’s Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

The Gypsy’s Corner’s Three or More Tuesday

16 Responses to “Southern Pesto”

  1. Angela Says:

    I have beautiful basil but no pine nuts, so I think I’ll try a basil-walnut version. Yum!

  2. Carrie Says:

    Thanks for the recipe and for the suggested uses. I think I will also try the variations you listed as well.

  3. Eileen Says:

    Two of my most favorites! Pesto and Pasta!
    Thanks for the recipes, I’m copying!
    All the best,

  4. Brenda Says:

    Those are great ideas for the pesto, I love pesto andhave a big basil plant.

  5. Ave @ Made In Canarias Says:

    The herbs sign is so cool! Your pesto and pasta recipe sounds delicious!

  6. patsy Says:

    Great blog!!

  7. Amanda @ Serenity Now Says:

    Great recipe!! I like that you included a few different uses for pesto. I need to try this one. Thanks for sharing it. 🙂 Visiting from Jen’s party. 🙂

  8. Audrey Says:

    We are a pasta loving family over here. Thanks for sharing.

  9. [email protected] Says:

    Great pesto instructions and recipes. Thanks.

  10. angie Says:

    sounds great will sharer with mom

  11. Bill Says:

    The recipes sound wonderful. I’ve never tried making pesto … definitely should give it a go!


  12. Becky Says:

    Thanks for the recipe, I really needed it since I love to grow basil…The lovely smell is what I love so much about it and now I am ready to try pesto!!!

  13. Emily @ marvelous recipes Says:

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe. I have never made pesto but now seem like a good time to start! 🙂

  14. Poppedijne Says:

    Pesto is so versitile and so aromatic.
    I use it to little and make just one easy pasta dish with it. Bake chicken filets and ad pesto and cherry tomatoes. Stew for a few minutes and serve it with fresh pasta.
    Thanks for giving me some new ideas.

  15. [email protected] Beauty and Bedlam Says:

    Can you believe I have a great basil plant and have let it practically die without making pesto…UGH!! Off to see what I can salvage.

  16. Southern Change Says:

    […] loaf, crusty Italian baguette olive oil 1 recipe of pesto chopped tomato (best if you get it right out of your own garden!) fontina cheese (or cheese of your […]

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