Written by Jessica on Friday, June 12, 2009

I just made some of the best pesto ever if I do say so myself. It had a different flavor from the store bought pesto you can get, but in my opinion, it was much better. I even conducted a blind taste test on Wade and he chose mine!

I didn't really measure anything {darn it!} but I'm going to try to give approximate measurements so everyone can enjoy this yummy pesto prize.
I planted a few basil seeds this year and they turned into a huge basil plant.

I was so excited and couldn't wait to make homemade pesto for a pesto chicken pizza again. I have to admit though, I was nervous about the thought of grinding up leaves and eating them. Somehow it seems different if you buy the pesto already prepared even thought it's ground up leaves too. So, as a backup, I bought a jar. just. in. case. since this was my first experience using a fresh herb like this for more than just seasoning. I'm happy to report, I still have the store bought pesto - didn't need it! It's so early in the season, I'm going to hurry and plant a few more seeds! I've read online that pesto freezes well too (omit the parmesan cheese) - you pour it in an ice cube tray and then a freezer safe bowl and pop out a few cubes as needed. That way, if you don't grow basil during the winter, you can still have homemade pesto in December!

Here's the recipe, it makes enough for 1 pizza, if you're serving it over pasta, I'd double or even triple this *recipe*.

- 1 1/2 cup packed basil leaves

- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

- a little salt and pepper

- 1/4 cup pine nuts (great flavor but a little expensive - I've read walnuts and/or cashews can be substituted)

- maybe 1/4-1/2 cup olive oil - add enough to get a good pesto consistency {maybe 1/4-1/2 cup}

- 1/2 tablespoon fresh minced garlic

Blend it all up - I blended it in a magic bullet and it worked perfectly.

The finished product:

This pizza is more filling than a regular pizza. I think because of the chicken... anyways, this pizza fed all 3 of us, with a couple slices left over. I'm not exactly sure how much it cost, but here's an estimate:

4 chicken strips or 1 chicken breast- $1.50

block of mozzarella cheese - $1.79

Ingredients for crust (flour, yeast, water, drizzle of olive oil) on hand

Ingredients for pesto (fresh basil, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic) on hand

pine nuts - $2.00

Total - $5.29 for a dinner for 3 and a lunch for 1 the next day. = )

We also had cucumber & tomato salad with it from the garden:

..and of course dessert:

Graham crackers, pudding, and whipped cream - YUM! ..and very inexpensive as well!


3 i *heart* comments!:

Mary@notbefore7 said...

Oh the dessert looks so yummy. I think I need to go get some chocolate.

Jen said...

My neighbor just brought me over a LOT of fresh basil, so I am going to make Pesto tonight! I need you to come over and help me get started on my garden! :-)

Beth said...

I feeling a Martha Stewart moment here, how do you have the time or energy? Kudos!!