From Yard to Table – Fresh Basil Pesto

Growing up our parents made pesto every summer. I never really paid attention to how this was done but in college (and after) would love to leave Hattiesburg with a jar or two of frozen gold. Homemade pesto is one of my favorite things in the world, the grocery store stuff just does not compare.

This year I tested my green thumb out with a bed of wildflowers, and my mom suggested I add basil to the bed. Of course that hadn’t crossed my mind since I was on a flower kick, but the small basil plants that we added quickly turned into an abundance of the beautiful green herb. I set out of make my very own batch of pesto and was not disappointed. 


4 c. packed basil leaves

1/2 c. finely grated Parmesan

1/4 c. toasted pine nuts

1/3 c. olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

3/4 tsp. sea salt

Bit of freshly ground black pepper

Wash and dry basil well, pulling leaves from the stems. If you want to buy basil for this I recommend going to Home Depot or your local garden center as small basil plants will be less expensive than fresh grocery store basil.

Toast the pine nuts in a skillet on your stove top. Be careful as nuts can burn so quickly. Stir them around for 3-4 minutes, and once you see a little bit of brown coming through remove them from the heat.

Combine all ingredients, besides olive oil into your food processor. I had to pull out my big food processor for this. Turn on Low and slowly drizzle your olive oil into the batch of ingredients. Scrape down the sides of the food processor as need be.

Taste and season to taste. 

Add to sandwiches, pastas, on top of salmon (easiest thing ever!), pizzas, etc. You cannot go wrong.



Fresh, Easy Argentinian Chimichurri

We all know that summer is the time for grilling–steak, chicken, seafood, veggies–and when you have food that is already cooked perfectly, you don’t want to cover it up with anything heavy!  How about an herbaceous sauce that has been paired with grilled foods for genenrations?  Reach for the chimichurri.  This traditional Argentinian sauce is light and bright and will add a perfect pop to anything you’re cooking.  Last night, I served mine on top of a flank steak, but then I also spooned a little bit extra over a cucumber tomato salad–yum!!!



-large handful of parsley (or small bunch)

-large handful of cilantro (or small bunch)

-1/2 c. red wine vinegar

-3-4 garlic cloves

-1 shallot

-1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

-3/4 extra virgin olive oil

-salt to taste

In a food processor, blend together all the ingredients except the olive oil, being careful not to over mix.  Next, drizzle in the olive oil and season with salt.  Done!  This can be stored for several days in a tight jar in the fridge, but you’ll definitely eat all of it before then.  Enjoy!