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  • Andy


Updated: Apr 27, 2020

Back when I started my food blog 7 years ago my very first post was about Pestos and it was the highest hits on views I received in the first 3 years of the blog. Today as I was transferring more of the old recipe files to the new website, I though it would be nice to repost that very first post with a few additions.

Enjoy and thank you all for following me on me, our food journey - Thank You

Post from July 19th, 2009

Traditional Pesto


3 bunches of Basil - leaves taken from the stems

4 cloves garlic - rough chopped

1 cup pine nuts

1/2 cup of olive oil

1/2 to 3/4 cups of parmesan cheese (fresh)

Salt and pepper to taste


Place basil in a food processor and pulse to chop. Next add the garlic, salt, and pepper and pulse to mix. Add the pine nuts and with the olive oil in hand turn on the food processor and slowly stream the olive oil into the mixture until smooth. Sometimes it takes the full half cup, sometimes a little less and sometimes a bit more. When you get comfortable making the pesto just stream for the bottle until it gets the way you like it.

Now I do not add the cheese into the pesto-like most recipes direct. I found that if you add the cheese later when you are mixing the pasta and the pesto it has a better taste.

Make your favorite pasta as per the directions on the package but before the pasta is done, take about 1/3 to 1/4 cup of the hot pasta water and place it in a large bowl. Now add the pesto and mix with a large wood spoon (do not use metal it gives a metallic taste to the pesto). Now add the hot pasta and the cheese and mix well and serve.

This is your basic pesto. My basic pesto is all the above but I add a bunch of Chives to the mix. Place the chives in the food processor at the same time as the basil, I just like the flavor the chives add to the Pesto.

Time to mix it up. Here are three Variations on "Pesto" that I have come up with;

Tarragon Pesto


2 bunches of Tarragon, leaves taken from the stems

2 bunches of Chives

4 cloves of Garlic - rough chopped

1 cup of Hazel Nuts

1/2 cup of Olive oil

1/2 to 3/4 cup Asiago Cheese, Fresh

Salt and pepper to taste

Follow the Directions above


3 bunches of Italian Parsley - stems removed

1 bunch of Chives

2 cloves of Garlic

2 Shallots - rough chopped

1 cup Pistachio nuts, un-salted

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 to 3/4 cup of Goat cheese

Salt & pepper to taste

Follow directions above


3 bunches of Cilantro - stems removed

1 bunch of chives

4 Shallots - rough chopped

1 cup Almonds

3/4 cup Asiago Cheese

1/2 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Follow directions above

Now I do have a mint, chervil, sage and sorrel pesto's but I am still adjusting the recipes since they are not as straight forward as the above: and there is my Avocado one but that is my secret recipe that wows everyone I serve it to so I will keep it to myself for a while.

My next entry will be the are the wonderful, perfect for summer salads I learned when in Jordan and Syria and the Variations that I came up with.

Have fun cooking

Now June 19th, 2016

Now for the new additions - I have already posted the Garlic Scapes Pesto, the Avocado Pesto still holding that for me (maybe I will send it in one of my monthly newsletters to those who sign up on my site)

Sorrel Pesto

6 cups of Sorrel leaves - stems removed

1 cup ramps, chopped

1 cup leeks, chopped whites only

1 cup Pine nuts

3/4 cup Salinas de Montmorot Cheese, shredded

1/2 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

You get the drill, follow the steps in the traditional Pesto recipe

Lovage Pesto

6 cups tight-packed of Lovage leaves, chopped stems removed

1 cup tight-packed swiss chard leaves, chopped and stems removed

4 Shallots, diced

1 cup Cashews, diced

3/4 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese

1/2 cup olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

See traditional pesto for steps

Brussels Sprouts & Kale Pesto

4 cups tight-packed of Brussel Sprouts leaves, chopped

4 cups tight-packed Kale, chopped and stems removed

8 cloves of garlic, minced

1 cup pistachios

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons garlic vinegar

1 tablespoon red pepper flakes

1/2 cup olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 cup Feta Cheese

Follow the steps above in the traditional pesto, only I add the Feta at the end as garnish or topping and do not mix it in.

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