Gro Something Greater: Perfecting Pesto at Home

Pesto www.bellalimento.comDisclaimer: I am working with Miracle-Gro for this project and was provided with a sample and compensation. All opinions are my own.

Growing food has been a part of my life as long as I can remember. It started with my Grandparents. They had a small but mighty backyard garden. I adored getting to help “pick” the food when we came to visit in the summer time. I would head outside, usually with a metal colander in hand, and pick as much as my little self could hold. I imagined it was hundreds of pounds but it was probably more like one or two. We won’t split hairs though. I can assure you I picked hundreds of pounds from my parents gardens over the years. They’ve had gardens in all shapes and sizes and grown more fruits and vegetables than I can shake a stick at. They’re great at growing.
And now I’m getting great at growing too. I’m passionate about growing a portion of my own food and it’s something that’s important for me to try to pass along to my children. A side benefit, I’ve found that (with my kids) if they’re part of the growing (and then cooking) process they’re more likely to actually eat the food. Good food. I don’t win all the battles but I feel good about where we’re at.

In the summertime we have a very large garden. Clearly it’s not summer time but that doesn’t mean we can’t grow something greater inside! Like herbs. I’m especially partial to basil. We use A LOT of basil. One of the things we like to do we basil is make PESTO. The kids remove the stems from the basil and then chuck everything into the food processor. It’s really as easy as that.
Best part about pesto is it’s versatility. It’s great as a sandwich condiment, as a sauce for pizzas, in pasta, slathered on a toasted baguette or even by the spoonful. It’s good and good for you!

Pesto Ingredient Collage
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Disclaimer: I am working with Miracle-Gro for this project and was provided with sample and compensation. All opinions are my own.



  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • kosher salt


  1. Into food processor add: basil, garlic. Pulse to combine.
  2. Add pine nuts and pulse to combine. Add cheese and WHILE food processor is pulsing GRADUALLY stream in the olive oil.
  3. Add salt to taste.
  4. Store unused pesto in refrigerator.



  1. 1

    I hope my son loves to get in the kitchen with me one day! This photo is stunning – I’m ready for fresh pesto!

  2. 2
  3. 3
    Kel /

    I would have to say herbs as well – so much more economical!

  4. 4
    Sandy Headtke /

    I grow chives as one of my herbs. I was surprised that it is the one I now use the most.

  5. 5
    Jessie C. /

    I like to grow herbs especially rosemary.

  6. 6
    Kristen /

    Basil is our #1 thing as well. So many uses and so tasty! A great way to brighten anything up!

  7. 7

    I grew up in my grandpas garden…he passed along his passion for it to me. I can’t survive without fresh basil and pesto! Love!

  8. 8

    Basil is my absolute favorite too! I can’t wait to grow some in my own herb gardden!

  9. 9

    I have a brown thumb, but Miracle Grow actually lets me, well, grow things. I swear the stuff is magic. The pesto looks fabulous!

  10. 10
    Amanda Sakovitz /

    Tomatoes are my favorite thing to grow!

  11. 11
    Janet M. /

    Herbs in general, with basil and rosemary my two favorites.

  12. 12

    I love growing herbs but we also grow squash and tomatoes. However I have not have luck with the tomatoes. I keep trying,

  13. 13
    Sheila K. /

    I like growing tomatoes!

  14. 14
    Elise /

    Herbs are my favorite things to grow. I have a big tub of herbs right outside our front door. This makes for easy access to the herbs when preparing meals – not to mention providing a wonderful fragrance to those entering our home.

  15. 15
    Rust /

    Tomatoes, and herbs for my dishes.

  16. 16
    Patty T /

    Herbs, tomatoes and blueberries! I’ve slowly been expanding my garden and trying new things.

  17. 17
    Elena /

    I like to grow oranges

  18. 18
    Leslie /

    I grow my own fresh herbs, so I have them year round whenever I want them.

  19. 19
    MaryB /

    My favorites to grow are parsley, basil and cherry tomatoes.

  20. 20
    Allison C /

    I like to gro tomatoes

  21. 21
    Alessandra /

    I grow strawberry and basil but I would like to grow tomatoes and zucchini.

  22. 22

    We don’t have much sun here in the woods, but we have enough to grow herbs, and every year, I love to grow lots and lots of basil. We go through it like crazy, too!

  23. 23
    Sharon Farrelly /

    Basil, Rosemary, chives
    I also grow garlic
    Love love pesto

  24. 24
    Tina W /

    Tomatoes! A good homegrown heirloom (our favorite is Black Krim) is soooooo much better than the red things labeled tomatoes at the store.

  25. 25
    Donna L /

    I like to grow herbs.

  26. 26

    I have made a fair amount of pesto over the years—-and grown it. I love basil period. I have had good luck with using cashews as a variations on pine nuts.

  27. 27
    nataly carbonell /

    herbs (basil, chamomile, etc) and tomatoes 🙂

  28. 28

    Beautiful pictures Paula! And what a lovely pesto! Thank you for sharing!

  29. 29
    latanya /


  30. 30
    Maria Malaveci /

    Basil is my absolute favorite thing to grow. We love, love making Pesto with it! Even my picky 7 year old eats it.

  31. 31
    cori /

    basil and zucchini since they forgive you 🙂

  32. 32
    Maria /

    Herbs are my favorite thing to grow: cilantro, basil, mint, and parsley.

  33. 33
    Kelly D /

    I like to grow zucchini.

  34. 34

    I can’t grow things. I’ve killed a cactus. Instead I’ll just buy from farmers and make the pesto from their basil.

  35. 35
    Melissa M /

    green beans

  36. 36
    Heather Hayes Panjon /

    I Love To Grow Peppers, Jalapenos Are My Favorite!

  37. 37

    I love to grow cherry tomatoes and herbs in planters on our deck.

  38. 38

    basil, rosemary and thyme grow very well here in AZ, as long as they receive enough water, great post Paula.

  39. 39
    Corisa /

    basil ! it smells delicious!

  40. 40
    Thomas Murphy /

    I like to grow Tomatoes

  41. 41
    Heather B /

    I love growing tomatoes and cucumbers.

  42. 42

    Nothing is better than a fresh spring time pesto! looks awesome!

  43. 43

    We grow all kinds of herbs every year. I make different varieties of pesto and freeze it for the winter months. It’s a family favorite. My kids even prefer it over red sauce!

  44. 44

    My favorite grow “go to” is definitely basil. I could wear it as perfume if they made it, smells so delightful and tastes so great, especially with home grown tomatoes….a second fave.

  45. 45
    Jennifer /

    We grow all kinds of things too, but it seems the deer like to get them before we do! But we love all sorts of herbs, especially basil. Tomatoes, corn, peas, a little bit of everything.

  46. 46
    Bert /

    I’m going with herbs

  47. 47
    Kenny /

    Tomatoes and habanero peppers.

  48. 48

    I just picked up pine nuts yesterday to make pesto with the basil I got from the farmers market.

  49. 49
    Maribeth M /

    I love to grow basil and cilantro!

  50. 50
    Kim /

    Herbs and REALLY hot peppers

  51. 51

    I love pesto! What beautiful photos–this would be perfect in a big bowl of pasta!

  52. 52
    Sarah Austin /

    Tomatoes and cucumbers

  53. 53

    I love pesto – but I’m not keen on basil. Lately I’ve been using kale or, in the spring, garlic scapes.

  54. 54
    Jan /

    I love growing herbs-basil, mint, parsley,thyme and oregano

  55. 55
    linsy patel /

    Love growing all herbs, tomato, peppers, eggplant.

  56. 56
    Kristen M /

    I’ve had the most success in my garden with strawberries, chard, and tomatoes. My favorite though was a couple years ago when our green beans took off. Unfortunately, the success hasn’t continued with those.

  57. 57
    Kate D. /

    My favorite things to grow are tomatoes, basil and eggplant.

  58. 58
    tk /

    i’m an herb grower and i love basil!

  59. 59
    Ellen Casper /

    Tomatoes and cucumbers

  60. 60
    Debbie Jackson /

    I love growing a full garden, but especially tomatoes and zucchini.

  61. 61
    Karen Lynch /

    I love growing peppers.

  62. 62

    Traditional basil is the best. I’ve never tried cilantro or any other herb because basil pesto…swoon. There’s nothing better 🙂

  63. 63
    saminder gumer /

    i like to gro tomatoes

  64. 64
    Missy /

    love pesto inside of croissant crescent rolls….mouth watering u shld try them and then don’t hate me when u r hooked!

    • 64.1
      Missy /

      oh…sry love to grow flowers actually….just love everything abt gardening….flowers they never compare each others beauty and they are all unique, special, generate warmth and always, always leave an smile on someone’s face!

  65. 65
    Carolsue /

    We grow a lot of tomatoes and zucchini.
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  66. 66
    Noreen /

    I love starting seeds. I used to start about 500 plants in my apartment in late winter/early spring. Mostly cut flowers, but also tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, chard, zucchini, lettuce, etc.

  67. 67

    I cannot wait for warmer temps and the chance to grow somethings again! Lovely recipe, bring on the basil!!

  68. 68
    Kristen /

    I love growing basil for homemade pesto!

  69. 69
    Amy /

    Pesto is my go-to quick weeknight dish! I love it and it always makes me dream of summer 🙂

  70. 70

    Everything I’m a growing fool!

  71. 71
    Julie /

    tomatoes and cucumbers
    thanks for the giveaway

  72. 72

    I need to get on the planting wagon, my basil supply has disappeared. I think your helper is the key to the perfect pesto!

  73. 73
    meredith /

    I like to grow herbs

  74. 74

    Basil…I use it in everything during spring/summer!

  75. 75
    Carla S /

    I love to grow carrots,oregano, and lily of the valleys.

  76. 76

    tomatoes, but I really need to try and grow cilantro and dill weed I use them soo much

  77. 77

    The only things I can successfully kill year after year are herbs! This pesto looks wonderful and your boy’s such a cutie!

  78. 78
    barbara n /

    I always plant tomatoes and cucumbers!

  79. 79

    I love having fresh herbs to snip during the growing season – great pics!

  80. 80
    Lisa Brown /

    i like growing zucchini

  81. 81
    Allison Downes /

    I love growing basil and cilantro.

    thanks for the nice giveaway!

  82. 82

    Tomatoes of every description!

  83. 83
    Tabathia B /

    probably tomatoes since we love baking them in the oven with sliced mozzarella cheese

  84. 84
    Gina Guthrie /


  85. 85
    Dan /

    Borage is fun to grow because the bees love it and the flowers are a unique bluish purple. Also, they taste like cucumbers!

  86. 86
    Amy L /

    I love to grow herbs – basil, thyme, parsley

  87. 87
    Shayna /

    I love to grow berries!

  88. 88

    My grandparents had me help in their garden too–they’d have me fit in the tight spaces and pick the beans and peas that were hard for them to reach! Such happy memories!

  89. 89

    I love growing fresh basil! We just bought plants this past weekend…can’t wait to plant them once the veggie beds are prepped. 🙂

  90. 90
    Cindy /

    We love to grow Mint and Basil.

  91. 91
    Wehaf /

    I love growing tomatoes! We have an heirloom variety that we plant every year.

  92. 92
    Rachel Crisman /

    Nothing like the smell of fresh tomatoes picked straight from the garden….nothing like it.

  93. 93
    Tara /

    Tomatoes! We love fresh tomoatoes!

  94. 94
    Barbara Montag /

    I love to grow dill and use the weed for snipping in cucumbers.
    If you haven’t done this you have to try it!
    Thank you.


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