Homemade Basil and Pinenut Pesto by Kandy Shepherd

Pesto packed in glass jars
It’s summer time DownUnder and I’m fortunate to have lots of basil growing in my garden. It’s time to make pesto! My family loves pesto used as a pungent, tasty pasta

sauce, or added by the teaspoon to soups, casseroles and vegetable dishes. As homemade pesto only lasts up to a week in the refrigerator, I tend to freeze my pesto in small quantities to add a taste of my summer garden to our meals all year around. To make pesto is easy, if a tad fussy, and worth it as we find my pesto so much tastier than the store bought jars!
Fresh, homemade pesto

Homemade Basil and Pinenut Pesto
(Note: I use Australian standard size measuring cups but recipe works as well with US measuring cups)
1/3 cup pinenuts
½ cup Parmesan cheese (cut from block cheese)
2 cups fresh basil leaves, tightly packed
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 medium cloves of garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1.      Wash and dry containers for storing your pesto.

2.      Lightly toast pinenuts (in oven on baking tray or in dry frypan over medium heat on stove top) until they begin to change colour to golden. Immediately take off heat and place in a container to cool.
3.      Put cheese in food processor and pulse until consistency of large crumbs. Remove from processor and set aside.
4.      Rinse basil leaves in cold water and dry. (Pat dry with paper towels or spin in salad spinner.)
5.      Place leaves and toasted pinenuts in blender and pulse until leaves are roughly chopped. Add olive oil and pulse until the mixture is smooth. Scrape down sides of blender as needed.
6.      Add the cheese, garlic salt and pepper and pulse until blended. Scrape down sides of blender as needed.
Basil leaves, grated Parmesan and toasted pinenuts
7.      Transfer pesto into prepared containers and seal with lids. Pesto will keep fresh for a about a week in the refrigerator. If you want to keep it any longer, it’s a good idea to freeze it. (Makes about three cups of pesto.)

Keep an eye on pinenuts when toasting them, they can turn colour very quickly and burn. Stir during the process and when done immediately remove not just from the heat but also from the pan/tray as they can keep on cooking and can burn.
Adjust the amount of garlic to suit your taste and the pungency of the garlic you’re using.
You may notice a film of oil forming on the top of the pesto as you pack it in containers. This is a good thing as it helps preserve the pesto and keep it from discolouring.
Basil growing in my garden
You can freeze your pesto in ice cube trays for a small sized serve. When frozen eject from trays and put plastic bags, seal and keep in freezer. (Or be lazy like I am and keep them in the tray covered with plastic wrap and squeeze out as required.)
This recipe is easily doubled, depending on the size of your food processor bowl.

Freshly picked basil

Garlic from my garden

In ice cube tray ready to freeze

Kandy Shepherd is a multi-published, award-winning author of contemporary romance and women’s fiction. She lives on a small farm in the Blue Mountains near Sydney, Australia, with her family and a menagerie of four-legged friends. She likes to travel whenever she can!

Visit Kandy Shepherd at her Website.

Connect with Kandy on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest

Kandy Shepherd has a new book out this month!

Second Chance with the Single Dad

From long-lost friends…

To newfound family?

Georgia and Wil were best friends until he married and disappeared from her life. Now he’s back, asking Georgia to forget the past and help him secure his future—the daughter he never knew he had! Georgia’s heart goes out to new dad Wil, but there’s an uncharted chemistry fizzing between them and she must protect her heart. Can they confront their unspoken attraction and finally become a family?

Buy on:

Amazon UK              Amazon Aust


  1. Hi. I came by to return the blog visit and thank you for taking the time to leave a comment on mine. Our long-range plans for the carport include an outdoor kitchen. :)

    Your pesto looks really good. Having some frozen for winter use sounds like an excellent idea. I'll have to give this a try.

    1. The pesto freezes well, Leigh! Good luck with making it.

  2. Sounds and looks delicious although I don't think we could grow enough basil in our coler country. Could always make a small batch, of course.

    1. Thank you, Sheila. We have a hot summer but quite a cold winter and the basil is gone at the first hint of frost! That's another reason I make the pesto to preserve it.

  3. the pesto looks so good as does the book!

  4. Oh I have pesto envy we are up our chin in snow I just came in from shoveling and saw your post I make pesto in the summer and do the ice cube tray so I can add it to soups stews and sauces.
    Just lovely

    1. Acorn, I am stunned at the snow and cold this year in your part of the world! We're suffering a heat wave here! I'm glad you do the ice cube tray trick with your pesto, I find it so useful.

  5. Thank you for visiting my blog. I love pesto too . I buy it in the supermarktet. Greetings Caroline

  6. I love pesto. I had some basil in my kitchen but it died, I need to buy a new plant. This pesto looks amazing, I need to try this recipe. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thank you Ivana, I hope the recipe works well for you if you get a chance to try it!

  7. This looks really wonderful. I've never really had a lot of pesto to be honest. Fabulous post, I hope you're having a great weekend :)

    1. Thank you, I'm so glad you enjoyed the post. Hope you're having a great weekend too!

  8. I have not had pesto before, we saw pine nuts in the store the other day and we wondered what they tasted like but hubby said they were too expensive to buy them if we won't like them. We need to get out more don't we :)

    1. Hi Connie, I find pine nuts taste better when lightly toasted to bring out the flavour. They are yummy on a salad and with broccoli. Where I live they can be expensive too. I don't know if you have an ALDI or similar discount supermarket near you but I buy my pine nuts, cheese and olive oil for pesto from there! People also use walnuts and other nuts for pesto, but I have only made it with pine nuts.

  9. This looks delicious.
    I love pesto.
    I wish you a nice Sunday.
    Best regards, Irma

    1. Lovely to meet another pesto lover, Irma! I hope you have a lovely Sunday too.

  10. Replies
    1. Thank you, Suzanne. I love pesto too, and I love the scent of the basil when I'm making it!

  11. Sounds wonderful. Over here pine nuts is expensive, maybe I will substitute with other nuts.

    1. Pine nuts certainly can be expensive, Nancy. I believe walnuts make delicious pesto, though I haven't tried making it with walnuts myself. However I have tasted a homemade pesto made with macadamia nuts and it was delicious.

  12. Good post 😊
    Would you like to follow each other? If the answer is yes, please follow me on my blog & I'll follow you back.

  13. Great post, so nice and interesting, love it!

  14. I've made pesto like this before! It was delicious.

    1. That's great to see, Sherry. There's nothing like homemade, is there!

  15. I have some basil, I should your recipe and tips.
    have a great day

  16. OMGosh. These recipes sound delicious. As does your story:)

  17. Your pesto looks great! Thank you, I will try your recipe !

  18. I have never made pesto before, this looks an excellent one to start with. Thank you and for the book recommend.


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