Monday, September 19, 2011


Another reader request!  Okay, yes, basil is a little out of season, but I have a local supply despite the season, and I get a discount, so even better!  Pesto is like hummus in that you just throw everything in the food processor and it’s done!

You will need

1 cup local basil (about 2 oz)($3.60)

1/3 cup organic olive oil ($9.49 for 17 oz, $9.49/8 oz = $1.19 x 1/3 cup= $.39)

1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp pine nuts ($9.99 per 6 oz, $9.99/12 = $.83)

1 large and 1 tiny organic garlic clove ($.50 for a head, $.50/5 = $.10)

¼ cup parmesan cheese ($5.49 for 10 oz, $5.49/10 = $.55)
Ready to blend!
Put everything in the food processor or blender, and blend till smooth, scraping the sides as needed.

If you want to mix it up, use cilantro in place of basil.  It’s a sharper, zippier taste.  One of my favorite dishes that I make is fajitas, and I always buy cilantro to make them, but I only use a third of a bunch, so this a great way to use up the rest.
This is a small recipe, but if you have some left over, throw it in an ice cube tray in the freezer, then you can use as little or as much as you want! Plus, anytime you have leftover basil or cilantro you can add to your stash.
Cilantro on the right, basil on the left.
 Try It:

$5.47 for 5 oz, or $1.09/oz

Buy It:

$6.80 for 7 oz (from the same company that sells the basil, also discounted), or $.97/oz


I’m going to say that out of season, Buy It.  If you find yourself in the middle of summer, and you know someone with a garden (or you have a greener thumb than mine), and have a ton of basil for cheap, Try It, the basil is your main expense, and it's very tasty.


  1. Thanks Laura! I actually just picked all of the basil from my garden (a bit late down here!) and am going to make my pesto tomorrow. I once made pesto with mint... it was pretty good!

  2. You can also use walnuts (a lot cheaper than pine nuts). And if you grow basil in the summer, you can freeze the leaves and make pesto all year. Stick the leaves (whole) into a plastic bag and crush once they're frozen. Pesto is also great mixed with cream cheese as a dip or spread.

  3. I just made pesto yesterday with farmer's market basil! I wish I'd read this before I did it, because that ice cube tray idea is genius. Missing you in Madison; you could do so much with the fresh veggies up here! —Laura Eve.