Easy Herb Pestos

Karen also demonstrated an Easy Herb Pestos in this food preservation session as we had leftover basil leaves from the herbs that Arzeena brought from the Richmond Sharing Farm.

Easy Herb Pestos-1

There were two types of basil leaves here, red and green ones. Karen suggested that the red ones gives a different colour contrast to food. Pesto is commonly used to flavour pasta. It is sometimes served on sliced beef, tomatoes and sliced boiled potatoes.


  • 2 cups fresh herbs, i.e. basil, cilantro, mint, stem removed
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, or combination of vegetable oil and flavoured oils
  • 2 tablespoons seeds or nuts
  • optional: up to 1 cup of shredded (not powdered) hard cheese, i.e. pecorino or parmesan
  • optional: fresh garlic or roasted garlic, 2 to 4 cloves

Source: Karen DW

Yield: 1 cup

Karen also shared some flavour combinations as follow:

  • classic: basil, olive oil, pine nuts and parmesan cheese.
  • red-leaf basil, sundried tomatoes. If tomatoes are packed in oil, use the oil. If tomatoes are dried packed, rehydrate in hot water for 20 minutes and drain before using.
  • cilantro, or combination of cilantro and parsley, up to 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil and fresh ginger; no nuts or cheese for this.
  • most versatile; just basil and olive oil. Add other flavourings when ready to use.


Easy Herb Pestos-2Wash and dry herbs, then remove stems before measuring. Pack leaves lightly into the measuring cup.
Easy Herb Pestos-3Use a food processor fitted with the metal blade, chop seeds/nuts, and garlic, if using. Add the herb leaves, and pulse 3 to 4 times to chop.
Easy Herb Pestos-4Add oil, and process a few seconds to make a paste. Add cheese at this time, if using.
Easy Herb Pestos-5Transfer to covered container and refrigerate, up to 1 week. Or, freeze for longer storage, up to 1 year. In this demo, Karen made the most versatile pesto here as it is an impromptu demo with left over basil leaves.

Karen, thank you for sharing with us.

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  1. etranger

    I freeze it either in an old ice cube tray or in spoonfuls on a cookie sheet, then transfer to a freezer bag.

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