Homemade Pesto.

The weather is crisper.  The leaves have carpeted our backyard.  Fall is definitely in the air.  As much as I love wanting to smush pumpkin into everything I eat and wearing boots and sweaters, it is going to be too cold for my plants to survive.  While I can move some of my basil and tomato plants into my basement, my summer of fresh veggies and herbs is coming to a close.  To mourn the loss, I decided to make recipes that call for lots of fresh herbs that I won’t be able to make this winter without a high grocery trip bill.  It was time to make pesto!

Despite having a food blog for over half a year, I don’t have fancy tools for the kitchen.  No food processor.  No sharp knives.  No Kitchen-Aid.  I rely on hand mixing and hand chopping (with awfully dull knives).  And that’s ok.  Because when I finish a recipe, I love saying I made this without any fancy kitchen utilities and it still tastes awesome. And I kick ass.

The best part about this pesto recipe is that while most people rely on a food processor to make pesto, this recipe doesn’t need one.  In fact, rumor has it, the best pesto is made when you chop the ingredients by hand.  And that made my day.  Who needs fancy, expensive kitchen machines when you got your hands : )


  • 1 large bunch of basil, leaves only, washed and dried
  • 3 medium cloves of garlic
  • one small handful of raw pine nuts
  • roughly 3/4 cup Parmesan, loosely packed and freshly grated
  • A few tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil



This recipe is all chopping.  So grab your favorite knife and cutting board and be ready to spend the next 20 minutes becoming a chopping queen.

Start with the garlic cloves and 1/3 of the basil.  Chop.  Add 1/3 more of basil and keep chopping.  Add last 1/3 of basil and chop.  This process consists of chopping, scrapping, gathering and chopping some more.  Sprinkle the pine nuts into the chopping basil and chop away.  Add the cheese and chop.  Chop together these ingredients until you can form the concoction into a basil cube cake.  Move the cube cake into a small bowl and sprinkle the olive oil on top (approximately 2 tablespoons worth).  Place pesto into the refrigerator until ready to serve.  Mix the olive oil when ready to serve.

homemade pesto paired with my favorite pasta.

Source: 101 Cookbooks

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1 Comment

  1. traditionally pesto is made in a mortar and pestle. now that’s truly hardcore. some of those cost more than a food processor though. keep up the good work and invite me over for dinner soon.

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