basil copy

Post-Labor Day September means different things to different people, but for us it’s warm days of abundant sunshine, cool evenings, and a last few dips in the mountain spring-fed pool. And it’s also time to harvest basil and make pesto.

We’ve been using the recipe below for years, the major difference between it and traditional Italian pestos being the addition of broccoli, which adds a nutritious and tasty but subtle element while cutting some of the bitterness of the basil. (Meat eaters may want to go Tuscan and add a bit of prosciutto.)

Two caveats: Pine nuts not harvested and processed in China (which exports too many contaminated foodstuffs for our taste), are outrageously expensive, but there really are no substitutes. And making single-serving batches of pesto is labor intensive, so our recipe is for a larger quantity. This means shopping for basil at a farmer’s market or co-op farm if you don’t grow it in quantity yourself. Pesto freezes beautifully, so it also means having a deliciously green entree in the dead of winter.


3 Full-leafed basil plants = 10 cups of slightly compressed basil leaves
with stems and any flower heads removed.

1lb Broccoli with stalks trimmed and steamed, then chopped into smallish pieces

3.5oz Pine nuts

1 medium-sized head of garlic, or about 16 cloves

1 cup-plus Olive oil

2.5oz-plus Parmigiano-reggiano or Italian shredded cheese of your choice

Serve with farfalle or a paste of your choice

Depending on the size of your food processor, make pesto in one or two batches by putting basil, chopped broccoli, pine nuts, garlic cloves, olive oil and cheese into the processor and pulsing until ingredients are thoroughly mixed but not pureed. Taste and add a bit more oil and cheese, if needed or desired.

Makes 4 cups of finished pesto, or one cup per sandwich or freezer bag. One cup is perfect for a pound of pasta. At serving, drain steamed pasta, put back in steaming pot and thoroughly stir in pesto. Sprinkle servings with additional cheese, if desired.


Shaun Mullen
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Copyright 2015 The Moderate Voice
  • JSpencer

    “Obama-haters still have enough teeth to chew a carpet.”

    …but still aren’t housebroken.

  • willwright

    In general the GOP knows that most of their base isn’t smart enough to understand the real issues that could be debated. They are forced to settle for dumbed-down stuff like this that their base can understand. The political discourse in this country as evidenced by the GOP candidates in this round has fallen to the level of a grade school playground. God help if one of these people is actually elected.

  • Slamfu

    If Obama wanted a formal declaration that the sky is blue, the GOP would filibuster it. There is no conscious thought going on there, just mindless obstruction. The Right can no longer be expected to show sense on anything, no matter how minor. If it comes from Obama, it must be opposed regardless of merit or facts. That is just nuts.

  • dduck12

    Denali is nothing to go bananas, which I think is an exaggeration, about.
    This one also involving Alaska (I hope I am not hijacking), involves a controversial agency, that may, or may not have too much of a political bent.

  • Having the highest mountain in America named after a mediocre president who’s only real accomplishment was getting assiniated so we could have president Teddy Roosevelt was always an outrage.

    • Slamfu

      McKinnley. Hero of the GOP since last week πŸ™‚ Before that i don’t even think many Ohioans knew he was from there.

  • IndyGuy

    What’s really funny is that the former governor of Alaska’s daughter, Bristol, went on a rage over what the president did. Funny thing is that Palin’s farewell speech from the governorship mentioned the name Denali.

    This goes to show that Obama can not do anything right with these people. They are intellectually bankrupt.

  • News Flash: GOP base heads will detonate over anything Obama says or does.

    • SteveK

      Just wait ’til they have to acknowledge, not understand (they’ll never understand) the results of the 2016 elections….

      White House… No.
      Senate Majority… No
      House Majority… Probably, but there’s still time for them to screw that up too.

      • Just wait ’til they have to acknowledge, not understand (they’ll never understand) the results of the 2016 elections….

        Are you sure you didn’t mean the 2012 elections?

        • SteveK

          No comment… I’m really trying to stay out of all of this.

  • If the Alaska Legislature and majority of its citizens say that the name is “Denali,” wasn’t Obama just standing up for States’ Rights? Isn’t that a right-wing cause?

    • JSpencer

      “Isn’t that a right-wing cause?”

      Only on odd numbered days.

  • KP

    Love the emo comments.

    The life blood of blogs.

    Keep ’em coming …

    • The_Ohioan

      No problemo. The (former GOP, now Trump) base will just keep ’em coming as long as we have a black Democratic president.

      β€œPerhaps we should just be grateful Obama didn’t decide to rename Mt. McKinley Mt. Trayvon.”

      We can only imagine how they’ll react to a white woman Democratic president. I will predict it won’t be unemotional, either.

      • KP

        While reading this I am wearing a “No Problemo” tee shirt by Katin since 1954 in Surf City.

        And I am in favor of the re-naming and am on record earlier here at TMV about that.

        Still, a whiney thread.

        • KP

          Like R.E.M. sang:

          “Everybody Hurts”


        • The_Ohioan

          Well, if we can’t whine about overt racism…we’ll have to find something else, I guess. πŸ™‚

          • KP

            That is a zinger and I suppose I asked for it πŸ™‚

            Well done.

          • The_Ohioan


  • archangel

    I’d like Prez O to turn the ‘white house’ back to the people who built it, and to cede back the land that was stolen from Native people by Virginia and whichever other ‘slave state’ “donated lands’ that did not belong to them, for Washington DC to be built.

    Prez O could also change the insulting name of District of Columbia which Washington named after the murderer of entire Native tribes, Cristofer Columbus.

    Its a sad and bad moon on the right left and center from all that, and not even Adam’s prayer on the white house, that all who inhabit it be honest and just can hold water, given what means and ways the palace built to begin wi’

    then one of the other many headed hydra’s heads, or several, or all, would also explode. For good.

  • Brownies girl

    I really do like this pesto recipe, Shaun – thanks for posting it. Am gonna give it a try on Sunday and see how it turns out. Will see if I can find some non-Chinese pine nuts at the market. Pesto’s one of my favourite foods!