Recipes, Photography, Musings

Fragrant Basil-Parsley Pesto

basil plant A reward of weeding around basil plants is that you get to smell the fresh, spicy scent of the basil leaves while you are weeding.  At least that is what I was thinking as I was weeding and shooing away mosquitoes yesterday.  And one of the best rewards of growing basil is making and eating pesto.  Not only does basil smell wonderful, but it tastes great, especially when mixed with garlic, nuts, and Parmesan cheese.  The pesto recipe I posted below calls for both basil and parsley, bright green herbs with lots of health benefits.  According to, basil is full of antioxidants, minerals such as magnesium, and vitamins, mainly vitamin A, vitamin K, and vitamin C.  Basil also is known to reduce inflammation and to have antibacterial properties.  Parsley is very beneficial to eat as well.  The website states that parsley is high in minerals like potassium and calcium, and like basil, it has high concentrations of vitamins A, C, and especially K.

pesto in blender Pesto is a great way to get those vitamins and minerals, and it offers variety.  You can mix pesto with pasta for a meal, or you can spread it on crackers for a delicious snack.  The nuts in the pesto add to its nutritional quality too–they add protein and the “good” (unsaturated) fats.  I usually use almonds, but pine nuts are a traditional nut to use, and I have also used walnuts too.  Now that basil is in full swing here, we will be using our blender to mix up batches of pesto!  Pesto freezes well, but to me it tastes best the day it is made.  If you know ahead of time that you are going to freeze it, a fellow food blogger gave me this tip to reduce bitterness when freezing:  Leave out the cheese when you are processing the rest of the ingredients, and freeze the pesto without the cheese.  Then when you defrost/thaw the pesto, add the cheese.

Happy summer eating!       pesto in bowlpesto on cracker


  1. My Kitchen Witch

    I love pestos of all sorts! You might be interested to know that almonds are generally used in Sicilian pestos. Also, freezing it before adding the cheese is generally considered to prevent bitterness. Simply defrost and add fresh cheese. Love the photos!

    • dragonflyhome

      Thank you for the information! I enjoy learning about where different variations of recipes come from. Also, that makes sense about the cheese. I had not heard that before. I may edit that freezing tip into my recipe (and I’ll mention that I got the information from My Kitchen Witch), if that’s okay with you. Thanks for stopping by!

      • My Kitchen Witch

        By all means, update your comments, but it really isn’t necessary to cite me.

      • dragonflyhome

        Okay, thank you! Yes, this is the first year we have so many basil plants. I am used to hoarding it and using it carefully, so it’s nice this year to experiment with it. 🙂

  2. Marina Maier

    I had no idea you could use almonds or walnuts for pesto. I always thought pine nuts were a must. Great post!! The pesto looks delicious.

  3. afterchapterthree

    I’ll be making pesto this week since my basil is growing like crazy. I’ve never used almonds before but I may try them this time since I already have them and pine nuts can be a little pricey. Thanks for the great idea!

    • dragonflyhome

      Thanks, Karen–that is also why I like using almonds or walnuts–they are more economical and taste good too.

  4. Dimple@shivaaydelights

    You have a wonderful food blog so…

    I’m sending you….

    A foodie invitation…Come join our new vegetarian food group on Facebook and post your yummy recipes, pictures and blog links…Let’s all share and connect through food! 🙂

    Regards D

    • dragonflyhome

      Thank you so much! I am not a complete vegetarian, but many of my recipes are vegetarian, and I am always interested in trying new vegetarian dishes. I would love to join the Facebook group!

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