Wednesday, September 29, 2010


By mid to end of September, when summer is drawing to it's end, locally grown basil plants are at their best... big, lush and beautiful. It's the perfect time to make pesto, and since I did not have much luck this year with growing my own, I bought half a dozen plants on the market instead..
To make one big jar of pesto you need:
1 big basil plant
50 gr pine kernels (1.8 oz)
100 gr hard cheese, grated (3.6 oz.I use a mix of Pecorino & Parmesan)
1 clove of garlic, crushed
salt and pepper
125 ml olive oil (1/2 cup)

First, remove the leaves from the stalks, wash them and dry
Next, grate the cheese. It can be a tiring job, especially when making several batches, so I usually get my kitchen machine to help me out..
Place all ingredients into a kitchen robot/blender, and blend to a smooth consistency. With the motor running, pour the olive oil slowly into the mix. You can use more or less oil than indicated above, depending on the consistency you like.
Fresh Pesto freezes extremely well..I usually divide the mix into several small portions and place them in freezer bags or plastic containers, so we can enjoy a wonderful taste of summer all through winter.
That night, I cooked some pasta, and fried a couple of gourgettes with some remaining pine kernels and herbes de Provence. Drained the pasta, tossed it with 3 table spoons fresh pesto and mixed with the fried courgettes. It was delicious!
Having said in my previous post how much I look forward to catching up with everyone's comments, I am really sorry that I still have not managed to do so, as I had to go abroad for a few days. Everyone's participation means a lot to me, and I am sad to have fallen behind so much.

Before leaving, I tried out a 'navy blazer wardrobe challenge' idea from a dear reader, and will hopefully manage to post a photo remotely in a couple of days.


  1. Why do these delicious recipes seem to pop up when I am starving!
    Thanks for this wonderful recipe..looking forward to trying it-but not tonight!!!
    I also look forward to the latest adventures of the navy blazer!
    Hugs,T xx

  2. You're adorable! Can't wait to try the pesto recipe and have a great trip!

  3. oh wow! i'm going to try this... yum yum

  4. The pesto sauce and the pasta looks yummy! =) Thanks for sharing. I missed you! June

  5. Dearest MaiTai, Thank you for sharing your recipe. What perfect timing - I just got a new replacement food processor (I adore how you call it) and was wondering what delicious dish will christen it. And my goodness, your pasta looks so yummy!

    Please don't worry about replying or posting when you have things you need to tend to, dear MaiTai. Please take all the time you need. I'm keeping you in my thoughts and sending you and yours good wishes. There is so much here to feast one's eyes on - I'll finally get to catch up, go back and study some of my favorite posts and take notes.

    You have given so much, dear Maitai.
    Thinking of you, warm hugs xx

  6. Talk about perfect timing! I have three large basil plants on my kitchen windowsill - and as I am off on holiday next week I was wondering what to do with them - problem solved, thanks to you, MaiTai! Totally agree with Scarf Enthusiast - don't worry about replying to posts when you have more important things to attend to - hope all is well with you xxx

  7. ITA! You could never disappoint your merry band of followers! You have given and shared so much of your life and time with such tireless energy and give yourself some time. Besides it looks like we are all going to be busy for awhile making pesto! Now I just need to figure out how to H up my cooking attire!! Peace and love,T

  8. Dear Maitai,
    I love pesto, it's bright green is always so cheery I think.
    Thank you so much for my scarf rings! I love them and they were a very nice surprise.
    I will email you tomorrow.
    Warm regards, FF x

  9. I made pesto a few weeks ago too - it was so easy! And yes, like you, I froze the leftovers in small portions so I have yummy pesto I can add to pasta or drizzle over softly scrambled eggs with feta when the mood takes me! It really is so wonderfully summery.

  10. This looks yummy! Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  11. Dear Ms MaiTai, What a lovely post - I adore pesto and coming out of Winter in Chile it is good to be reminded of it. I love the fabulous aroma of basil in the kitchen and the way the children simply gobble down the pasta when it is smothered with pesto. I am looking forward to your navy blazer wardrobe challenge...

  12. Dear MaiTai

    Your pesto looks absolutely delicious and I will try to make it next week myself.Thank you for teaching us how to make it and for all the lovely pictures.
    Don´t worry about not replying us right away. Hope you are doing well. Sending you a warm hug, M.

  13. As Trudye said, "we will all be busy making pesto for a while", so
    take your time and take care. Big hug, M.

  14. Dearest Mai Tai,
    What a wonderful idea to cook pesto! Amazingly I did the same on the same day and wanted to share a little tip my mother taught me.
    Before blending all the ingredients together, cook the pine kernels in a frying pan (withour oil) in medium fire for a few minutes until they get a golden colour. They release much more aroma like this. be careful not to burn them though, they burn easily!
    Take care and enjoy yourself. I'm sooo looking forward to your new ideas
    xx Tania T
    PS. The more I use your amazing scarf rings the more I love them. Many thanks again!!

  15. Aww Trudye, I usually end up with a cookery book in my hands when I’m starving, pure torture! Hope you’ll have fun with the pesto. Your navy blazer adventure is coming after the next!

    Thank you, dear CashmereLibrarian, and good luck with the recipe!

    Yum, yum indeed, dear dogbiskit. No wonder, with all the cheese in it, LOL.

    So sweet of you, June, thank you so much!

    I am honoured that my recipe will christen your food processor, my dear Scarf Enthusiast, and I’ll cook pasta for you any day. Your lovely words meant a lot, and your good wishes seemed to have helped too, so many thanks. Warm hugs to you, and have a lovely weekend xx

    Three large basil plants, bingo, dear sushi queen! Many thanks for your lovely good wishes too, you are so sweet and kind. As said above, it all has helped. Have a wonderful upcoming holiday!! xx

    Trudye, you are the sweetest, much love and big hugs to you. And thank you for the new wardrobe challenge: How to H up a cooking attire, LOL!

  16. Dear FF, I love all your recipes, and so I am therefor thrilled that you like mine! Have fun with your scarf rings, and a great weekend xx

    Pesto hugs to you, Miss Kitty-Cat! Love your idea of drizzling it over scrambled eggs with feta, it sounds so delicious! Will definitely try this soon, thank you :-)

    You are very welcome, dear booksnchocolate! xx

    Hello Linda in Chile, and welcome! So exciting to have a reader from South America, you must be the first one! Love basil for the same reasons as you, and DS adores pesto in the same way as your children. Have a wonderful summer ahead!

    Dearest Manuela, you are so sweet, and your kind words and good wishes mean a lot. Hugs to you too. x

    Hello, my dear Tania! What a wonderful coincidence that we were making pesto the same day! Bet we both played with our scarf rings that day too, lol! So happy that you love them, and many thanks for sharing your mothers great tip. Will definitely roast the pine kernels next time before blending, I can just imagine how much flavour it will add to the taste! Hugs

  17. This looks simply delicious - thank you so much for sharing each step with us! :-), Macs PS: so good to see you bia.

  18. Dear Mai Tai - I love how you capture the colours of the food items etc which also, for me, set a lovely tone and mood.


  19. Thank you, my dear Macs. It feels so good to be back, finally.

    Happy you like the post, dear Maisie. I enjoyed taking the photos, the green of the basil is just so fresh and gorgeous!