Entertaining Quick & Easy Recipes

Pesto Recipe – Using Fresh Garden Basil

Pesto Recipe
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Nothing says summer like a delicious pesto recipe, especially one that uses freshly picked basil straight from your garden!!

Fresh basil pesto is one of the easiest sauces to make and there are a myriad of pesto recipes to try! Below I’m sharing my favorite pesto recipe from Martha Stewart with an extra ingredient that I like to throw in… tomatoes, fresh from our garden! It makes the most delicious summer meal when paired with pasta and your choice of protein (shrimp, scallops, chicken, you name it!)

This is our first Summer in our new-to-us farmhouse and we were beyond excited to have plenty of room to start our own little “farmette” as we lovingly call it! My husband built 3 large, raised garden boxes and we were excited to dive in and start gardening!

Pesto Recipe - picking basil in the garden

We planted tomatoes, peppers, peas, pumpkins, cucumbers, lettuce, rosemary and off course basil! We have soooo much basil! Now that the plants have matured, it’s time to start harvesting the produce / herbs and putting it to good use!

Once of the easiest things to do is create a delicious garden basil pesto recipe and use it for a vast array of Summer dishes!

pesto recipe - bowl of basil

Tip: Want to save time? Try doubling or tripling your pesto recipe, and then freeze the excess pesto in an ice cube tray. Once frozen, pop them out and place into a freezer bag for easy access whenever you need a quick pesto recipe pick me up!

bowl of fresh basil from the garden

Pesto Recipe Ingredients

  • 4 small garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves (lighlty packed)
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan and romano (half of each)
  • 1cup extra-virgin olive oil
pesto recipe ingredients

Pick and rinse your fresh basil

I’m always amazed at how much dirt and little critters rinse off of my fresh garden produce! Giving it a good rinse and drying in a paper towel ensures that your basil is clean and critter free!

pesto recipe

Pesto Recipe – Blanch the garlic

Place your peeled cloves into a pot, cover with 1 inch of water and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, immediately drain the water and let your garlic sit until they reach room temperature.

Pesto Recipe – Toast the Pine Nuts

While you wait for the garlic to blanch, you can toast your pine nuts. Toasting your pine nuts will give them a deep and beautiful flavor which will enhance the flavor of your pesto recipe!

Pine Nuts - Pesto Recipe

Set your oven to 350 degrees and spread the pine nuts over the pan. Roast the pine nuts, turning occasionally until they are golden brown (approximately 10 minutes)

pesto recipe

Pesto Recipe – Blend the basil, roasted pine nuts, garlic and salt

Using a food processor blend the ingredients together, taking caution not to over mix.

Pesto Recipe

Pesto Recipe – Add Cheese and Olive Oil

Next, add in your olive oil and shredded cheese, and mix until well blended.

Pesto Recipe

Elevate your Pesto Recipe

At this point your pesto recipe is complete. It’s at this point that I separate my pesto into two bowls (to accommodate our three picky eaters). I keep one bowl plain and then add fresh garden tomatoes into the other and blend to make a delicious tomato basil pesto sauce that is devine!

garden tomatoes

Pour pesto over freshly cooked pasta and add your desired protein.

tomato and basil blend

I don’t know about you, but our kids go gaga for anything pasta. This is perfect dish for summer, when our favorite pasta bolgonese is too heavy! My husband and I love adding cooked scallops to our pesto recipe, and the kids love a handful of diced chicken. Either one is a delicious meal that can be thrown together for easy, breezy Summer dining!

Bon appetit!

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