Basil & Mint Pesto, I call it Summer in a Jar

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Basil and mint pesto is a favorite of mine. I first fell in love with pesto while visiting Italy, where I was served a plate of pasta with pesto. I was immediately hooked by the fresh, flavorful sauce. I’ve been making pesto at home ever since, and I love to experiment with different variations. But I especially love the fact that I can make my own pesto at home, with my own personal touch. My basil, mint pesto has that vibrant bright green color that is sure to add a pop of color to any dish. Pesto is a reminder that even the simplest ingredients can be transformed into something truly special, so next time you’re in the kitchen, don’t forget to reach for the pesto!

Basil & Mint Pesto

Is it worth making your own pesto?

Basil and mint pesto, I love the fresh, vibrant flavor of the basil, the mint, the garlic, the nutty flavor of the pine nuts, and the richness of the parmesan cheese, all the ingredients worked together perfectly to create a delicious and unique flavor. Whether or not it is worth making your own pesto depends on a few factors, including your budget, your time constraints, and your personal preferences.

If you are on a budget.

making your own pesto can be a cost-effective way to enjoy this delicious sauce. The ingredients for a pesto are relatively inexpensive, and you can often find them on sale at your local grocery store. In contrast, store-bought pesto can be quite expensive, especially if you buy it from a specialty store. If you are short on time, making your own pesto may not be the best option for you. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes to make pesto from scratch, and I recommend using a mortar and pestle. If you are short on time, it may be easier to purchase store-bought pesto.

Basil & Mint Pesto

If you’ve never tried pesto before, I highly recommend giving it a try.

I know you prefer the freshest, most flavorful pesto possible, so making your own is the way to go. Store-bought pesto can be made with preservatives and artificial ingredients, which can affect the taste and quality of the sauce. When you make your own pesto, you can control the ingredients and ensure that the sauce is fresh and flavorful. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to make your own pesto is up to you. Consider your budget, your time constraints, and your personal preferences to decide what is the best option for you.

When I make my own pesto.

I start with fresh, high-quality ingredients. I use basil and mint from my garden, but store-bought basil and mint work just fine. I also use pine nuts, but you can use any type of nut you like. And I always use Parmesan cheese, but you can use any type of hard cheese you like. I also add a little lemon juice and lemon zest to brighten the flavor. Lemon juice helps to keep pesto green and prevents it from browning. Garlic adds a savory flavor to pesto. I use good quality extra-virgin olive oil. Olive oil is a key ingredient in pesto, so it’s important to use a good quality one.

Here are some tips for making pesto.

  • Don’t over-process pesto, you want it to have a bit of texture.
  • If you don’t like garlic, you can omit it or use a milder variety, such as elephant garlic.
  • Toast the pine nuts. Toasting the pine nuts brings out their flavor.
  • Use good quality olive oil. The quality of the olive oil will affect the flavor of the pesto.

My favorite ways to use pesto.

  • Pasta: Toss pesto with cooked pasta for a quick and easy meal.
  • Salads: Toss pesto with your favorite greens for a flavorful salad.
  • Sandwiches: Spread pesto on bread for a delicious, nutritious, and satisfying sandwich.
  • Pizza: Top your favorite pizza with pesto for a unique and flavorful pizza.
  • Dips: Serve pesto with vegetables for a healthy and delicious dip.

How to store pesto.

In the refrigerator: Pesto can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week. To do this, simply place it in an airtight container or jar and cover the top with a thin layer of olive oil. This will help to prevent the pesto from browning.

In the freezer: Pesto can also be frozen for up to six months. To do this, I place the pesto in ice cube trays or small freezer-safe containers. Once the pesto is frozen solid, I transfer it to a larger freezer-safe bag or container. When you’re ready to use the pesto, simply thaw it in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for a few hours.

Basil & Mint Pesto

Pine nuts, and why roast pine nuts?

When buying pine nuts, look for nuts that are plump and have a light brown color. Avoid nuts that are shriveled, discolored, or have any blemishes. Pine nuts can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. Pine nuts can be used in a variety of dishes, both sweet and savory. They are a popular ingredient in pesto, pasta dishes, and salads. Pine nuts can also be used to make desserts, such as baklava and cookies.
Dry roasting pine nuts release the distinctive, nutty flavor of the seed. Pan roast the pine nuts on a low flame and make sure to keep a close eye on them as they can turn from a light brown to a burnt black in just a matter of seconds and therefore lose their delicious flavor

Here are some ideas for how to use pine nuts.

  • Add them to your favorite pasta dish.
  • Toss them with a salad.
  • Bake them into cookies or other desserts.
  • Sprinkle them on top of yogurt or oatmeal.

Basil & Mint Pesto

The Taste

For me, pesto tastes like summer in a jar.
The basil and mint are bright and fresh, the pine nuts are nutty and earthy,
and the Parmesan cheese is salty and rich.

The Process

If you enjoy cooking, then making pesto from scratch is a great way to enjoy a fresh, flavorful, wonderful sauce.
Just be careful not to overprocess the pesto, you want it to have a bit of texture.
Use the freshest basil leaves you can find.
If you don’t have pine nuts, you can substitute walnuts, almonds, or sunflower seeds.
If you don’t have Parmesan cheese, you can substitute Pecorino Romano cheese or another hard cheese.

The Verdict

I really, really love my basil mint pesto.
If you’ve never tried basil mint pesto before, I highly recommend giving it a try.
It’s a delicious and versatile sauce that can be used in a variety of ways.
I love the way it tastes, the way it smells, and the way it can transform a meal into something truly special.
You might just find your new favorite condiment!

Chef’s Tips

Use a mortar and pestle to make the pesto.
This will help to release the flavors of the ingredients and create a smooth, creamy pesto.
If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, you can use a food processor.
Use pesto within a week of making it.
If you want to store it for longer, you can freeze it in ice cube trays.

Basil & Mint Pesto

Chef Norbert
Basil & Mint Pesto, I love the way it tastes, the way it smells, and the way it can transform a meal into something truly special. You might just find your new favorite condiment!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Condiment, Mindful Gifts
Cuisine Better for you, Italian
Servings 12 Tbsp
Calories 76 kcal

Recommended Equipment

Ingredients
 
 

Instructions
 

Toast the Pine Nuts.

  • Place the nuts in a dry skillet (don’t add oil!). Heat over medium heat for about 3 minutes, until golden and fragrant.
    1 oz pine nuts

Crush the Garlic, Basil, Spinach, Mint, and Pine Nuts

  • Crush garlic and pinch of sea salt in a mortar with the pestle until garlic is mashed and paste-like, 1 or 2 minutes. Add basil, spinach, and mint in 3 or 4 additions, crushing and pounding down the leaves until they form a fairly fine paste, about 8 minutes or more depending on the size of the leaves and the thickness of the stems. Add in the lemon juice, and lemon zest of half a lemon. Add and pound in the pine nuts. Do not overprocess the pesto, because you want it to have a bit of texture
    1 garlic, 1 pinch sea salt, 1 oz basil fresh, 1 oz mint leaves fresh, 1 oz spinach fresh, 1/2 lemon

Add the Parmesan

  • Use a microplane to finely grate the Parmesan cheese. Add the parmesan in 3 additions to the mortar and pound it into the sauce until completely incorporated, about 3 to 5 minutes.
    1.5 oz parmesan cheese

Add and blend the Olive Oil

  • Drizzle in olive oil, pounding it into the sauce. Add black pepper, when all the olive oil has been added and emulsified into the mixture, transfer the pesto to a bowl and drizzle the surface with olive oil. If you like your pesto a little thinner, add more olive oil
    2 oz extra virgin olive oil, 1 pinch black pepper

Store your Pesto

  • Once the pesto is made, store it in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Chef Notes

How to store Pesto

In the refrigerator: Pesto can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week. To do this, simply place it in an airtight container or jar and cover the top with a thin layer of olive oil. This will help to prevent the pesto from browning.
In the freezer: Pesto can also be frozen for up to six months. To do this, I place the pesto in ice cube trays or small freezer-safe containers. Once the pesto is frozen solid, I transfer it to a larger freezer-safe bag or container. When you’re ready to use the pesto, simply thaw it in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for a few hours.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 tbsp | Calories: 76kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 63mg | Potassium: 58mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 0.2g

Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate

Keyword Basil, Mint, Parmesan, Pesto
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Join the Conversation

  1. Todd Weinstein says:

    This recipe tastes best when using Norbert’s fresh garden mint. Thanks for the inspiration!!

    1. Norbert Author says:

      Todd, thank you for the feedback,I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe.
      PS:there is plenty of basil and mint if you need more!

  2. Gary Sadler says:

    Have you ever tried a cilantro pesto? When my wife and I were in AZ a few years ago we were served a pizza topped with a cilantro pesto and we were immeditely hooked.

    1. Norbert Author says:

      Sounds awesome, I love cilantro, need to make a batch

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