The Brave Cook

My life from the heart of Berlin!

Save the basil!

I love to keep a basil plant at the kitchen window but due to the unsteady temperature conditions it is not so easy to keep it alive for long as well as it is not so easy to use it up fast enough. The best thing to do in that case is to make a basil pesto! I have never done a pesto before but my blog is basically all about trying new recipes and learning new things.

There are basil pesto recipes for a classic basil pesto but actually pesto is always made to taste, based on the ingredients at hand. That really comes up to my own philosophy about using for a recipe what I find in my kitchen. Most basil pesto recipes include pine nuts/walnuts and parmesan cheese. I did not have these ingredients at hand so I left out the nuts and used a creamy feta cheese. Of course, you can adjust the ingredients to your taste!Basil Pesto with goat cheese


  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan or goat cheese
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp peppercorns or freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp lemon juice


Wash the basil and remove the leaves from the stems. Combine the basil leaves, garlic cloves, goat cheese and the peppercorns in a food processor. Pulse until everything is perfectly blended together. Add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Scrape down the sides of the food processor a few times with a spatula.

Since I do not use any nuts for my pesto I try to give it a special flavor with the type of salt and pepper that I’m using. My peppercorns have different colors and are freshly cracked in the food processor. If you do not have a food processor or you prefer to use a mortar you need to be very accurate when grinding the peppercorns. I like to use a mortar and to work with my hands instead of letting the food processor do all the work.The salt that I’m using is a special himalaya salt with a light pink color. It has a very strong and aromatic flavor.Add 1 tsp lemon juice and 1 tsp lemon zest. This will give the pesto a fruity taste and balance the garlic.Your pesto is ready to be served! Serve with pasta, baked potatoes or even with fried fish.This is a very simple recipe and you can even safe your pesto in the fridge for several days to use it for many dishes. Pour a thin layer of olive oil over the top of it like I did so that it does not turn brown!

The Brave Cook

Single Post Navigation

24 thoughts on “Save the basil!

  1. What a beautiful basil plant. Mine never last long either – and I’ve also had the overabundance problem. There is a great salad with chickpeas, cherry or grape tomatoes, tons of basil with a yummy dressing of cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic and honey. Soooooo delish!

    • Thanks for all the great ideas! I still have some basil leaves left and I will use them for a salad. Love the idea of adding honey!

      • The honey makes it soooo yummmy – Here’s the actual recipe: 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
        About 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
        25 large basil leaves, chopped
        3 cloves of garlic, minced
        1 tbsp red wine vinegar
        1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
        2 tsp olive oil
        1/2 tbsp honey (10g)
        pinch of salt
        Toss all ingredients together and chill for at least 20 minutes,

    • Keith Chadwick on said:

      If you plan of cooking with basil rather than in something fresh you can easily freeze it for future use. Just wash it then make sure it is totally dry. Get a small freezer bag and a straw. Close the bag until the straw just sticks out then suck the air out and quickly pull the straw out and seal. It will last a long time

  2. Interesting to use goat cheese, haven’t heard of that before! And cool salt.

  3. Basil and pesto freezes wonderfully. With pesto, freeze in a container with a thin layer of olive oil covering it. This will keep it from being freezer burnt. With basil, I chop mine, add olive oil, and freeze in a flattened plastic bag. I just break off the amount I need just before cooking.

  4. I make pesto with every nut/seed except for pine nuts. Crazy, eh? It goes well with raw walnuts!

  5. What a beautiful post on my favorite plant! I am an ardent fan of Pesto and I build my own vegetable garden around it (in a small greenhouse, as it is too cold in this climate for it to grow well). I’ve just started my own Blog and am looking forward to writing about Basil and Pesto, but the season is over for now. I make as much as I can each summer and freeze it – but I omit the cheese if I am going to freeze it an add it in when preparing or serving the actual meal. Putting a thin layer of olive oil on the surface is a great idea — I’ve been a victim of “blackened pesto” many times!

    Keep writing…

  6. I love basil, and your pesto looks so beautiful and vibrant, I can almost smell it!

  7. 🙂 thx 4 stopping by 🙂
    great ideas . I saved the basil 🙂 in my pesto 🙂 and I’m not brave 🙂

  8. vinicooksveg on said:

    M yet to start cooking italian food in my kitchen. Will start with this one. Looks simple and great. Hope ‘m successful. M fed up of having italian food in restaurants! Thanks for sharing!

  9. This is really wonderful! I love basil and of course pesto. Feeling inspired to make some for the first time!! And thanks for the great tip to pour olive oil on top!

  10. I love basil pesto! When my plant starts to get too big and I know I’ll never use it in time, I usually just dry it, crush it, and put it in the cabinet for future use. But I really need to start making pesto with it.

  11. I tried herbs for the first time this year and I was thrilled to be able to incorporate my green thumb goodies into any food I could! I love the photography you have shared with us as well! Great dish, looks extremely appetizing!

  12. We have made pesto using tomato sauce or fresh tomatoes instead of all of the oil. It is tasty, and great on toasted bread or in a simple pasta dish. Thanks for stopping by our blog today!

  13. Your basil plant looks so happy! The pesto looks mighty good too , with oh my, goat cheese!

  14. This looks heavenly! – Thanks for finding me so that I could find you!

  15. This looks absolutely delicious! Nice blog, and cool pics. Sehr schön 🙂

  16. THAT’S why you put the olive oil on top…
    I like to put basil in my salads as part of my mixed greens. I can get drunk on the smell of basil. My husband would see a lot more action if he would just rub some basil behind his ears…

  17. Putting the layer of oil over it protects it if you need to freeze it, too!

  18. That looks absolutely delicious. I love the idea of using goat cheese, one of my favourite cheeses.

  19. I grow basil too and I use it with cheese pasta just to spice the dish. It gives a fresh herb taste, which is wonderful. 🙂 The idea of pesto sounds great!

  20. emilyannfrances on said:

    This looks yummy. Do you think a blender can get everything creamy enough? I don’t have a food processor.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This Charming Life

interiors & Home Styling Consultancy

Sree is travelling

Travel blog of Sreejith Vijayakumar


Travel Couple and Digital Nomads on a World Travel

What an Amazing World!

Seeing, feeling and exploring places and cultures of the world

India Food Club

Connecting all foodies in India....

The Wanderboy

Breathing room for all my stories.


..for it is by self-forgetting that one finds..


Celebrate you , Celebrate STYLE

I Am Not In England

Lifting the curtain between here and there.

Blue Diamond Society

Blue Diamond Society's blog site


gay or catholic ? ... or both

LGBT HealthLink, The Network for Health Equity

Proud Program of CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers


Street style, fashion, and talking to people. India / Bhutan

Life, Photography & Other Mistakes - is now dormant

Follow my new blog:

Adventures in Wonderland

a pilgrimage of the heart

The Barby Bulletin

news and musings from a subcontinent stay

Tanuja Yadupathi

Travel | Photography | Trekking

Behind Your Screen

Get thinner, but deeper

Danny Mansmith

picture diary

Charming Whimsy

borscht and babushkas

mostly adventures from peace corps ukraine

Vegetarian 'Ventures

A Vegetarian Food Blog with a Twist of Adventure


recipes for life

Lakshmi Loves To Shop

The Nirvana of travel, shopping and spirituality...

Urban Cottage Life

modern scratch living


Vegan & Vegetarian recipes from around the world

the searched - searched

My life from the heart of Berlin!


Eyes are the Window of your Soul

%d bloggers like this: