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Basil Blog Post

History of Basil

Basil is native to India and Southeast Asia. Its earliest reference is from 5,000 year old Indian Vedic texts. Basil comes in many different varieties. It features in the folklore of Europe and India. Indians believed that basil warded off evil and was sacred. Medieval Europeans believed that basil generated scorpions and that so much as smelling them led to an outbreak of scorpions in one’s brain. Oddly enough, basil was considered to be the cure for a scorpion sting.

Basil Pesto Recipe

Fresh Basil Pesto

PREP TIME15 mins


SERVINGS4 servings

YIELD1 cup

Basil pesto darkens when exposed to air. To store, cover tightly with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic is touching the top of the pesto and not allowing the pesto to have contact with air. The pesto sauce will stay greener longer that way.


  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed (can sub half the basil leaves with baby spinach)

  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/3 cup pine nuts (can sub chopped walnuts)

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or more to taste

  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste


  1. Pulse the basil and pine nuts: Place the basil leaves and pine nuts into the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times.

  2. Add the garlic and cheese: Add the garlic and Parmesan or Romano cheese and pulse several times more. Scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula.

  3. Slowly pour in the olive oil: While the food processor is running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady small stream. Adding the olive oil slowly while the processor is running will help it emulsify and help keep the olive oil from separating. Occasionally, stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor.

Season the pesto sauce:

Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Toss with pasta for a quick sauce, dollop over baked potatoes, or spread onto crackers or toasted slices of bread.


  1. Fresh Basil Pesto. (2022, May 4). Simply Recipes.

2. Link, K. (2018, October 26). Real Food Encyclopedia - Basil. FoodPrint.

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