Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Recipe: How to Make Basil Pesto Sauce

I need to entertain myself while I'm waiting for my donated sweet basil to grow.   Nothing much has changed since I planted it.  There are two small leaves in the center plant.  But funny enough, the leaf with roots stood up!  I can't imagine how that will continue to grow.  We'll see in a couple of weeks.   As for my cinnamon basil, I've cut too much in the past weeks already in the name of propagation so I have to wait for it to grow back a bit before going on a cutting and rooting spree again.   For now, I will entertain myself with a Basil Pesto recipe.   I chose one with no nuts, since nuts are high in uric acid and are bad for my gout. It's also a middle ground in terms of ingredients since the ratios vary per site that I visited.  Like everything else, just experiment and see what you'll like.


2-3 Cups Basil
1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese
1 1/2 Cloves of Garlic
1 Tablespoon of Butter
A tinge of Lemon juice
Salt and Pepper

  1. Wash the basil leaves with water (no soap) and remove the stems and ugly looking leaves
  2. Put it in a food processor or crush with a mortar & pestle.  I tried it with an osterizer. It just doesn't work.  It maybe due to blade positioning.  
  3. Add the garlic, butter, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese and extra virgin olive oil.  Most sites use raw garlic but I've seen a few where you boil it for a minute.  In lieu of nuts, I've seen suggestions to use sesame seed or roasted garlic. Up to you. If you plan to freeze this for later use, don't add the cheese yet since I've read that it doesn't freeze well.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste
You can use this for hot pasta, grilled fish or chicken or even a slice of bread.  Cool huh?

If you plan to freeze this, one suggestion I've seen is to put it in a ice cube tray, freeze then transfer to a plastic bag.  Then you just get the cubes as needed.

If only my sweet basil would grow faster, I'd have more to do.  My cinnamon basil has the wrong flavor for pasta so that's out of the question.  I tried it with tea though.  There was no taste.  I think I need to use more leaves.


  1. Anonymous4:26 PM

    Donner: I don't add garlic in my pesto because I've read that raw garlic in oil when stored for a few days may cause botulism (this may be why some boil the garlic first). I add/saute it into my pasta.

    Also, I hand chop my basil because my blender doesn't do a good job.

    I add a little bit of muscovado as a natural preservative.

  2. I have no idea what botulism is but it sounds scary. Ok, I'll boil it for a minute or two.

    And you're right, blenders suck at basil leaf blending. I think we really have to use a food processor.

    What is a muscovado?

    We must really trade more stuff!

  3. Botulism is a muscly paralyzing disease caused by food poisoning.

    Muscovado is unrefined sugar. dark brown sya. healthy daw yun.


  4. Hey thanks for checking out my blog. I do pretty much the same thing with my basil. But I do no butter and use the regular blender. Works alright as long as you have enough oil.


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