down to the wire pesto recipe & WFMAD 30

The Goddess of YA Literature ventured into picture book territory yesterday and reviewed a number of recent picture books, including INDEPENDENT DAMES. It is an honor and a hoot to have the book compared to the MAGIC SCHOOL BUS books, which I love.

A couple of you have asked for my pesto recipe. I mostly wing it, but here is how I made yesterday’s batch:

6 cups basil leaves (I stuff the cups, cram the basil in, so it’s a lot) washed and destemmed.
1 generous cup chopped pine nuts
1 and one-fourth cup grated Romano cheese (you can use Parmesan – it’s worth buying the good stuff)
10 cloves of garlic. Maybe 12.
Somewhere between three-quarters of a cup and one cup of good olive oil

I don’t have a food processor so it takes a while to chop all the basil into a mush, but the smell is worth it. Once the basil is chopped, stir in the other ingredients. Add a dash of salt and two dashes pepper. Make sure everything is well mixed.

Last night I tossed the fresh green beans with pesto. I think I could eat it with anything, including oatmeal. Might experiment with making pesto bread….

Making it fresh in the summer is fun, but I wanted to have some to enjoy when the snow piles up into 15-foot drifts come February.

Step One – freeze small portions of pesto in glass jars.

Thaw slightly to remove from jars.

Stick in vacuum sealer bag.

Suck out all the air and seal (this is really fun to watch).

Voila! Let it snow! Yesterday’s batch was enough to fill seven small jars worth of pesto, plus eat at dinner, plus have enough to munch on for a couple day’s snacking.

How do you make your pesto?


Today’s goal: write for 15 minutes.

Today’s mindset: fantastical

Today’s prompt: Start out with the magic words “Once upon a time….” and write a fairy tale about the upcoming presidential election. Use common devices like villains, enchanted objects, interventions by fairies, etc.


10 Replies to “down to the wire pesto recipe & WFMAD 30”

  1. You can freeze it in ice-cube trays too, which makes for easy single-serving meals on the go. Just pop a cube onto some pasta and heat….

  2. Okay, I’m a pesto expert and am really impressed with your professional skills! I use the same four key ingredients you do: lots of basil, quality olive oil, garlic, and pine nuts. I don’t include cheese in the sauce because I like to grate fresh Pecorino Romano on top of my pasta after it’s tossed with pesto. And I blend the ingredients together in a Cuisinart.

    You’re so right about the smell of fresh basil – it’s decadent. I leave basil out for a while before I cook with it so the whole kitchen smells awesome 🙂

  3. Laurie, just a quick note to say thanks again for the challenge. I was not very good, I let lots of things be excuses, but I did keep coming back, and because of your challenge, I made seriously more progress on my revision than I would have without it.

    And that’s what it’s about.

  4. I like freezing pesto in ice cube trays so you have little handy clumps that let you use more or less depending on the dish … but they aren’t quite so pretty as that jar!

  5. Ooh, I love your pesto recipe!!! It sounds delicious! Wanna know one of my FAVORITE ways to use pesto? I mix it with a small amount of mayo–really, you want the pesto to shine, not the mayo–and I spread it on bread (yummy bread, thick bread like ciabatta or fresh crunchy french bread or something) and make a sandwich with fresh mozzarella and sliced tomatoes…or a turkey sandwich. YUM! Now I want pesto…right now! 🙂

    Thanks for the freezing tips. I’ve never frozen pesto because I didn’t know if you could! Now I know…thank you. 😉


  6. Yay!
    Thank you for sharing your pesto recipe, Laurie! It sounds delicious. :^) I can’t wait to try it!! This weekend I’m reserving some much-needed time for pesto creation.


  7. Do-Over?

    Any chance you will do a repeat of this? I missed the whole month!
    PS I love Speak!
    Thank you for your time!
    Veronica G

  8. Wow! I’m buying one of the Air Sucking Machines. I thought they were just a TV gimmick! It took me longer to look up how to spell the word gimmick than to write this whole post…..spelling!!!!%$#%#%

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