Cappers Farmer Blogs > Homespun Life in the City

Simple Pesto Recipe

Erin SheehanI try to grow six to eight basil plants every year on the back porch.

I find basil does just fine in pots, so no reason to waste garden space growing it. After much hand-wringing over the state of my basil plants this year, they somehow pulled through. With our unusually cold spring this year my basil had trouble. A couple of plants didn’t survive overnight lows in the 40s that came out of nowhere in May. The plants that made it simply didn’t grow, just staying the same size day after day.



Luckily my mom is more cautious about putting her seedlings outside than I am. She was nice enough to share a couple of her extra basil plants with me. Once the weather finally warmed up, even my stunted plants took off nicely. Incredibly, it’s already time to harvest.


I use fresh basil for canning spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce and bruschetta. Garden tomatoes generally aren’t ripe for the first basil harvest, so it gets made into pesto.

Pesto is super-easy to make. Here’s a basic recipe to get you started:

Simple Pesto

4 cups basil leaves (up to 2 cups parsley can be substituted)
1/2 cup walnuts (or pine nuts, but they are very costly)
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (Romano cheese also works)
1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil

Put all ingredients into your food processor except oil. Start blending and pour oil in through the pour tube on your processor. Process until smooth. Add more or less garlic and cheese if you like, to taste.


Pesto can be frozen in jars and in ice cube trays. I just cover a cookie sheet with waxed paper and make mounds about 1/2 cup each. Once the mounds are frozen, I store them in freezer bags. I use them mostly on pizza, which is pretty much a staple around our house. Let me know how your pesto comes out! 

7/27/2014 8:03:29 AM

Erin, many of my gardener friends have talked about pesto and salsa. Two things which I have not tried to make but seem pretty easy. Both are no cook recipes which is good thing during the hot months of the year. My garden this year is pretty slim pickings this year. The weather has devastated most every thing with a very late frost in the spring and then wind, hail, and flash flooding after replanting. June brought 14 inches of rain which is 10 more than normal. In addition to that the temperatures were lower 50s at night and 70s during the day all through the rainy June. All the plants just sat there and didn't grow. The harvest produced is really tough and hard and doesn't really taste good. My efforts have focused on garden structure this year. Fence building and garden bed preparation will continue to fulfill my garden desires. I plan on canning some soup for the winter months later in the summer. Ingredients will have to come from the farmer's market this year. I hope and pray your garden year is way better than here. ***** Have a great pesto day in the kitchen.