Revisiting Basil Pesto

My apartment herb garden has been going strong for over six months now and we have produced more basil than I know what to do with. We usually make a margarita pizza and just sprinkle over the freshly cut basil, but the plant is starting to flower so it was time to cut most of the leaves and make a yummy basil pesto. Oh so classic and so easy. The fresh basil really does make a difference. I don’t think I could go back to pre-made, store-bought pesto again!


I used the same recipe as I have posted on this blog before, but I made double as I had a lot of basil. Again I modified the oil content by adding a tablespoon at a time until I was happy with the consistency. I really enjoyed making and shooting this recipe, sweet and simple. If you didn’t try this last time, I hope this inspires you to this time….and maybe even grow your own basil!


Basil Pesto

Makes approx. 1 cup (enough for 500g/1lb cooked pasta)


1/2 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted at 180 C (350 F) for 10 mins
3 cups fresh basil leaves

4 garlic cloves
100g (3.5oz) grated parmesan cheese
5 tablespoons good quality olive oil


Place pine nuts, basil, garlic and cheese in a food processor and blitz until fully combined and the mixture resembles a paste. Add 1 tablespoon of oil at a time, and pulse for 20 secs until incorporated. Continue to add the oil until all combined. Monitor the oil content of the pesto after each addition to get it how you like it.

Serve immediately with you favourite pasta dish. Also keeps well in the freezer. Empty into an ice cube tray and use as needed.

You Might Also Like

  • Reply laurasmess March 6, 2014 at 7:57 am

    You are so luckyn to have a flourishing herb garden at your apartment! I am struggling to keep my balcony garden alive, it’s just been fried every day by the hot Western Australian sun. Even my rosemary died last week… sad days! Anyway, glad that you’ve had a different experience. Gorgeous photography… love the drops of moisture on those fresh basil leaves. And the pesto looks divine x

    • Reply rachel jane March 6, 2014 at 9:42 pm

      If it makes you feel better, our Rosemary died also! It was in a planter with other plants and it was over watered. The rest are great though. Our basil, thyme, chives and chillies it on a window sill of a north facing window and do quite well. We did have some heat waves in Melbourne, but overall its a great place to grow plants. I am also growing micro greens at the moment! You should try those, grown in eaten in 7-14 days, hard to go wrong.

  • Reply Petra Greening March 6, 2014 at 8:12 am

    Great photos! Makes me hungry!

    • Reply rachel jane March 6, 2014 at 9:39 pm

      Thanks Petra. The green is gorgeous isn’t it!

  • Reply tracyvalentinawood March 6, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    Lovely! The oil content is so important isn’t it? Too much & it’s horrible. xTracy

    • Reply rachel jane March 6, 2014 at 9:38 pm

      Yes, you are exactly right. The very first time I made it with a recipe I found, there was just too much oil and once you have added it, there is no going back!

      • Reply tracyvalentinawood March 6, 2014 at 9:49 pm

        Yes I know, just becomes too oily & strong. For a change try a recipe that I have posted. We call it Winter Pesto. Originally the recipe was one of Jamie Oliver’s, but I have changed it slightly. Uses curly kale or cavolo nero. We love it & make it often. xTracy

        • Reply rachel jane March 12, 2014 at 11:43 pm

          That does sound super! I am a total leek fan, so I will definitely try this.

  • Reply Vera March 6, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    homegrown, homemade. Excellent!

  • Reply merilyn March 6, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    looks lovely … I love pesto and I have a basil plant which is flourishing at the moment so I will get to work and not be lazy! … inspirational photography! … cheers m:)x

    • Reply rachel jane March 12, 2014 at 11:43 pm

      Great! I would love to know how you go.

  • Reply Basil in your Herbal Medicine Cabinet - Back40 March 7, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    […] Revisiting Basil Pesto […]

  • Reply DellaCucinaPovera March 9, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    Any tips on how to make your basil live long and prosper? I’m alwaysss killing mine and totally agree with you on the benefits of home-made over store bought pesto! Looks delish.

    • Reply rachel jane March 12, 2014 at 11:47 pm

      Oh gosh, I am not a green thumb at all – maybe just lucky? We keep the plant on our window sill which gets north facing light each day, lots of light. We water it every second day and I give it some liquid natural fertiliser fortnightly. We also have it in a pot which you can’t overwater. It has a drip tray in the pot itself, under the soil tray, so that excess water can be absorbed when needed or evaporated if there is too much (I have a tendency to overwater it!). I cut the plant back by 2/3 when I made the pesto, so we will see how it grows back!

  • Reply jordans for cheap April 21, 2017 at 5:19 am

    I enjoy you because of all your valuable hard work on this site. Kim really likes working on investigation and it is obvious why. Many of us notice all about the powerful method you create very helpful information through your website and therefore improve contribution from some other people on that theme so our own daughter is really starting to learn a great deal. Enjoy the rest of the new year. Your performing a pretty cool job.

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.