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Making Pesto the Old-Fashioned Way

Basil. Garlic. Olive oil. Pine nuts. Parmesan. These are the makings of a fabulous, wonderful, delicious pesto — and believe me, I adore pesto. It’s fabulous on so many things: pasta, sandwiches, baked potatoes, whatever.

When it comes to making pesto, I have always been a food processor girl. Seriously. Every pesto I have ever made has either whirled around in my Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus or in my full-sized food processor.

But recently, when I was working on an article for, I tried something new: making pesto the old-fashioned way with a mortar and pestle. Let me tell you: I may never make it in the food processor again. Seriously. It was fabulous. The flavor was as bright and brilliant — and as good as the fabulous pesto that I buy nearly every week in the summer at our local organic farmers’ market.

The process of making the pesto turned out to be so much simpler than I imagined it would be. Pounding the basil leaves really does bring out flavor and rip them into tiny pieces — no knife required. Toss in the other ingredients, pound and mix and before you know it, you have a fabulous, fresh, homemade pesto. You really need to try it. For my recipe, check out my Pesto 101 article on

And, if you are looking for something delish to make with pesto, check out my Chicken Pesto Wraps recipe on AmazingMoms.

Now, an exciting thing …

My recipe for Garlic Scape Carbonara was featured in Saveur’s email newsletter and on their website today. Welcome to new readers who found my site through Saveur!

Be sure to check out some of my other delicious recipes like Parmesan Rosemary Sweet Potato Fries, Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Lemon Vinaigrette, Salmon Cakes and Sundried Tomato and Red Pepper Meatballs.

zoe p.

Monday 26th of April 2010

Yay! ! I love Saveur's Best of the Web feature. I have it in my reader cuz I love the way it acknowledges excellent food bloggers, even if I don't love each and every recipe they send my way.

Also, congrats on your savings! It's been ages since I have been able to save, but your (next) post reminded me how good it feels!

I've been looking for a thrift store mortar and pestle for years. Ever since I housesat in a house that had one . . .


Friday 23rd of April 2010

Oh I am loving that picture... It makes me want to go buy that bowl. :) I love pesto. Yum!