Pesto = Paste – Fresh Pesto is the Best-oh! = Vitamin K Source Too – Holy Basil

Fresh Pesto Recipe

Basils for pesto.JPG

Sweet Basil, Thai basil, Lemon basil, Chard, Cherries & Blueberries from the Minneapolis Farmers’ Market

Dear reader, if you are learning about cooking, like I am, you may want to learn a recipe for pesto.  Well here is a recipe that approximates the recipe that Richard helped me with, when I called and asked if I could use his cuisinart to make pesto.  Last Saturday I made my trip to the Farmers’ Market on Lyndale Avenue, which is in full swing, by the way.  There are so many wonderful foods to sample and fresh home grown vegetables and herbs. 

I was up at dawn because there were dark clouds rolling in and I made my way over to the market very early. I wanted to miss the expected small storm.

 I found sweet basil, lemon basil and Thai basil and the biggest bunch of chard that you could imagine. It was very crisp and fresh. Rather than dry the herbs or freeze them I decided to make pesto.

From Richard I learned that pesto means paste and you can make it out of all kinds of leaves; arugula, for one. 

Notes:  For this pesto I used only ¼ cup of walnuts as I am allergic to pine nuts. Richard’s recipe only called for ¼ cup of walnuts and 4 cups of packed basil.  I used a whole farmer’s market bunch of sweet basil about ½ bunch of lemon basil and 1/3 of a bunch of Thai basil for that nice anise pepper taste it has.

Richard had me put all the ingredients together in the Cuisinart and pulse until it was to my liking.  Timidly I used the pulse lever…machines are so – machine-like.  My friend Anna told me she made it for years with a mortar and pestle.  Richard mentioned that the hand method produces a rougher or textured consistency.

The finished product smelled and looked so fresh – lovely. 

Richard said, “I wonder what it tastes like? “

“Do you have any noodles? Cook some up and we can try it.”  

He cooked up angel hair pasta and we each had a small bowl. It was around noon.  Anyway, it was really good with a lemony tang and a peppery flavor that blended well with the sweet basil base.

pesto pasta.JPG

Pesto Pasta with Romano Cheese

We looked up basil and found that there are over 60 kinds!  Its good for what ails you too.  Apparently it acts against certain bacteria. Holy basil, as it is referred to, has been used since ancient times.

Of Note: “Basil is an excellent source of vitamin K and a very good source of iron, calcium and vitamin A. In addition, basil is a good source of dietary fiber, manganese, magnesium, vitamin C and potassium.” Retrieved July 29, 2013. 

À votre santé!

Here’s a recipe For Pesto 


1/4 cup walnuts

1/4 cup pignolis (pine nuts)

3 tablespoons chopped garlic (9 cloves)

5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 cups good olive oil

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan 

The Method

“Place the walnuts, pignolis, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 15 seconds. Add the basil leaves, salt, and pepper. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly pureed. Add the Parmesan and puree for a minute. Use right away or store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin film of olive oil on top.

Notes: Air is the enemy of pesto. For freezing, pack it in containers with a film of oil or plastic wrap directly on top with the air pressed out.

To clean basil, remove the leaves, swirl them in a bowl of water, and then spin them very dry in a salad spinner. Store them in a closed plastic bag with a slightly damp paper towel. As long as the leaves are dry they will stay green for several days.”

Read more at: Retrieved July 26, 2013.

Copyright 2001, Barefoot Contessa Parties!, All Rights Reserved From the Barefoot Contessa 2001; Episode: The portable picnic


About kunstkitchen

Visual artist and writer hunting words, languages, visions, and insight in my kitchen - connecting Art (Kunst) and culture and slow food cooking. Credits: Do not own a microwave oven and never have. Do not own a food processor. Chopped veggies in a Zen monastery for a weekend. (Seriously) Classically trained artist. Paint and draw with traditional materials. Live in the Northland where it's six months of winter. Appreciate the little things in life. Sharing food and art experiences and the lessons that my talented and generous friends have given me.
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