The Bendy Blog

Basil Pesto Spread

By Jessica McNeil

Bendy Blog category: Magical Garden Archive

mortar and pestle

Pesto is an Italian dish that can be used as a sandwich or cracker spread, pasta sauce, and more. It is SO DELICIOUS. I put it on everything and then have nice garlic-breath.

Pesto comes from the Italian word pestare (peh-STAR-ay), which means to  ‘pound, crush.’ It got its name because, before people had food processors, if they wanted to squish up herbs and spices very small, they would use a mortar and pestle (some people still do!), which looks like the picture on the left.

If you’ve ever been to a Mexican restaurant, you may have seen a mortal and pestle that looks like the one in the picture filled with guacamole. Mortar and pestles are great for smooshing all kinds of things! You can pestare the ingredients for your basil pesto in a mortar and pestle, or you can take a shortcut and use a food processor.

Basil Pesto

Yield: 2 cups


The Shopping List:

  • 2 cups basil leaves, tightly packed
  • 2 teaspoons of garlic, minced (chopped as small as physically possible)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 tablespoons lightly toasted pine nuts
  • 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


The prep:

  • Add all ingredients into blender or food processor with a quarter of your total olive oil
  • Turn blender on (don’t forget the lid… Or to plug it in)
  • Slowly drizzle the remaining olive oil into the blender
  • Blend until all is combined.
  • Taste. Make any adjustments needed.

The fun part:

  • Pour pesto into an airtight container
  • Store In the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Label, ‘don’t eat’ because it is that good, use this pesto on everything!