Friday, July 24, 2020

Garden Food: My Herb Garden Pesto

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If you have been following my Midwest Gardening posts, the weather has been the dictator of dealing with produce. Yesterday I decided to cut back my herbs as they are struggling with the heat and constant sun. It's a good thing to trim back when plants are drooping. You can keep basil inside cut and the stems put in a glass of water. Even those stems were drooping. So I decide to use everything for Pesto.


Starting a Pesto---Pick fresh herbs, clean with cold water, discard any discolored leaves. 


I started with almost 4 cups of basil leaves. A good handful of tiny oregano leaves, some cilantro and parsley heads, avoid stems.

And Pulse chopped this until small pieces.


Add 1 1/2 Tbsp of white wine vinegar, and 2 Tbsp of lemon juice and pulse just a few seconds more, remove from chopper.



Add 1 Tbsp of olive oil to your 12 garlic buds, (we love garlic), and chop as fine as you want them. I coarse chop ours.


Combine with the greens and stir well. I'm not putting in pine nuts, these can be added to your dish when you are cooking. Remove to your clean canning jar.


Add more olive oil until everything is covered (2 more Tbsp for this batch).

Place uncovered in the microwave, microwave on High for 1-2 min, until you can smell the herbs, and know it has reached a hot temperature. 


Cover and store in the refrigerator. This keeps for a month or two, depending on how often you use it. I use this on fish, in sauces and dishes, also in pasta salds for summer. 

You can always add your dry Italian cheeses and toasted pine nuts for a traditional Pesto when you use it. 

Low Sodium Pesto for the Fridge.                             Makes @1/2 pint or more.

3 1/2-4 cups of Basil leaves
1/4-1/2 cup of oregano leaves
1-2 cups of parsley/cilantro heads
1 1/2 Tbsp of white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice (this replaces salt)
12 garlic cloves cut in half
@ 4 Tbsp of Olive oil. . 

Chop cleaned herbs in chopper or by hand, add lemon juice and vinegar, chop a bit more. Move to glass jar or microwave proof container.
Chop garlic cloves with 1 Tbsp of olive oil.

Combine all. Add remaining oil until all greens are covered, stir. Microwave for 1-2 min on high, just until HOT to touch.
Seal with lid while hot. Cool, when room temperature store in refrigerator. 
You can add grated dry Italian cheese and/or toasted pine nuts with this. 
Excellent on bread, in pasta, in sauces, basted on meats, grilled vegetables and is a great time saver!  

What's your favorite summer Make Ahead.


  1. This sounds really good, Sandy. I'll have to try that. I usually make pesto (though I'm not sure I'll have enough basil this year unless I find some generous gardener!) and try it with the other bits. I've never done it that way and it sounds like a wonderful blend of flavor.

  2. Thanks, Jeanie. It holds for quite awhile, or you can freeze in ice cube trays, thanks always for visiting. Sandi


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