Make Ahead · Recipes · Sauces · Vegan/Vegetarian

How to Destroy a Perfectly Good Basil Plant

Folks, you are in for a very special treat today.  You are witnessing a part of Foodie McBooty history — a huge milestone in the cooking life of Foodie McBooty:  I just bought my first basil plant!  Before this, I have never attempted growing an herb garden — in fear of my cat eating more of the plant than I actually would.

caboose killer kitteh
(*Jaws Theme Plays* AHHHHHH!!!!)

But I couldn’t resist the sweet smell of fresh basil and gave in.

So what’s a girl to do now that she has her own basil plant?  I ripped off as many leaves as possible and made fresh basil pesto!  I think I left enough plant for the little guy to survive.  I think…

(To be continued)

Basil Pesto

Basil Pesto

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Yields: Two cups

Basil Pesto


  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts (or walnuts, almonds, etc... *see note)
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated pecorino romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Combine the basil and garlic in a food processor and pulse a few times. Add the nuts and pulse a couple more times. Add part of the olive oil and process for a few seconds. Repeat this step until all of the olive oil is used and your ingredients are smooth. Season with salt and pepper and add the cheeses. Pulse until just combined.


Pesto freezes really nicely. Pop any extra you may have into a freezer bag or small container for future use. Also, experiment with using different nuts in your pesto. Each provide a slightly different flavor and you might find a new favorite. I've heard toasted macadamia nuts are pretty good. Haven't tried it myself yet.

Adapted from the Food Network Kitchens

Pesto photo from The Comfort of Cooking (thank you!)

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