Posts Tagged ‘basil’

IMG_3167This year I have lots of basil growing in the garden. Greek, Italian, African, Asian, big leaf, small leaf, curly, not curly. There are so many varieties of basil, but one thing for sure they all make great pesto. The best way to preserve the pesto is by freezing it either in ice cube trays, zip lock bags or small plastic containers. The basil can be blanched before processing, but for this batch I decided to puree the fresh leaves without blanching.

The basil in the picture above came from Herbivor Farm in Ottawa. Beautiful aroma, perfect leaves and best of all it’s organic.

The basil was extremely clean and dry so I separated all the leaves from the stems which I freeze separately in zip lock bags to use when I make stock or add a couple of stems to tea.



For this batch instead of garlic I used garlic scapes. Not as potent as garlic , they have a mellower, tamer kind of taste.


Start off with the scapes, when blended thoroughly add the basil and process it for a minute or so.

I don’t like to freeze finished pesto; the nuts & cheese tend to get rancid in the freezer after a few weeks. However, the puree of fresh basil keeps beautifully green in the freezer.

Sometimes I even leave out the garlic and just puree the basil alone.

I add the nuts, cheese, and additional olive oil to my basil just before using it.

Parsley and other herbs like, verbena, oregano (very small amount) or other favorite herbs can also be added to give your pesto more aroma.  I like to try different nuts and have also added shelled hemp seeds (my favorite) .

I like to use a lot of garlic, plenty of olive oil, and sometimes make a batch with some jalapeño or serrano pepper.


IMG_3177IMG_3181Top the containers with olive oil and place them in the freezer.

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basil pesto

If you have lots of basil and are not using it to flavor jars of tomato sauce, now is the time to cut all the leaves and make some pesto.

Please keep all the stems. Wash and dry them well before putting them in ziplock bags for freezing. They are perfect for when you make broth or to add extra flavor to tomato sauce.



olive oil (hemp oil)

basil leaves (washed and dried)

few cloves of garlic

walnuts (pine nuts, hemp seeds or pistachio nuts)

salt and pepper to taste


Mix everything in a food processor

Fill small containers leaving headroom for expansion


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