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In approximately 50 to 60 days after planting Pesto Besto™ Basil seeds, you will be able to harvest basil leaves from your plant. You're excited for your first harvest, but what to do with all of that beautiful, fresh basil?
Keep it simple and make a delicious pesto! Pesto basically goes with everything and can elevate any dish. You can make a batch of pesto and freeze it for later, like in the winter months instead of using store bought.
To make a simple and fresh pesto, follow the below steps. Remember to follow your own taste buds, too. If it tastes like it needs more of something, add in a little and taste test it. Repeat until delicious!
You'll need the following ingredients:
2 cups of fresh Pesto Besto basil leaves (1 cup of basil and 1 cup spinach if preferred)
To harvest the leaves, simply pinch off 5-8 leaves per stem leaving the topmost leaves.
1/2 cup of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup of pine nuts or walnuts (chopped, toasted if desired)
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
3 large garlic cloves (peeled)
Season with salt and pepper to taste
Pulse all ingredients, except the oil, together in a food processor or blender. Once you've achieved a course purée, with the motor running, slowly start to add in the oil as you continue to blend the ingredients together. Once everything comes together and the mixture is smooth, you're done and ready to enjoy.
How to Use Pesto:
One of the easiest ways to enjoy your fresh pesto is on pasta. Any noodle will do, but those with ridges or crevices will hold the pesto better than smooth noodles. Try pesto on your mac and cheese, too. You really can't go wrong here.
Take a healthy grilled chicken dinner up a notch by placing pesto atop the chicken. Impress yourself (and family and friends) with the bold, unexpected flavors. To make dinner even simpler, buy a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket and cut the meat into medallions and serve it with your fresh pesto. Voilà.
Roasted vegetables add another opportunity to enjoy your fresh pesto, like the roasted cauliflower above. The smoky, caramelized flavor is a great contrast to the fresh, bright pesto. Not only is it delicious, but it's also really healthy. Easily roast vegetables by setting your oven to 450 degrees, drizzle the veggies with a little olive oil on a baking pan, add some garlic, salt, and parmesan to taste, and roast for about 20 minutes. Top with your freshly made pesto. Bon appétit!
Next time you make pizza, instead of your usual pizza sauce, use your pesto instead. Top with mozzarella, parmesan, fresh tomatoes, a little drizzle of EVOO and anything else you like. A great change of pace, especially if you have a family pizza night once a week. Dinner is served.
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