Basil Pesto

Scents are an interesting thing, aren’t they?  Have you ever thought about it?

Being a Psychology major, we learned that scents can link to our memories in a very strong way.  Our olfactory nerves, which is our odor receptor linked to our brain, is physically closest to the part of our brain responsible for memory and emotions.  Cool, yes?

The scent of freshly paved asphalt makes me think of summer at the pool.

The scent of sewage (gross, yes) reminds me of walking by the girls gym at summer camp.

The scent of the Polo Blue cologne reminds me of dating relationship I wouldn’t mind forgetting…. funny that the “good” smell isn’t a great memory.

But my favorite scent-memory is fresh basil.  It reminds me of my childhood.  My neighbor had a huge garden full of basil.  He had a cat… I think his name was Mr. Moo.  Basil also reminds me of my mom.  She made pesto from the basil our neighbor would give us.  Mmmm, I love memories.

Josh came home from working at a community garden with a package full of fresh basil.  I was in heaven.  True heaven.

I called up my mom and made sure that I knew exactly what ingredients I needed to make her amazing pesto. I’ve made other pestos… my mom’s is the best. Hands down.

Make this pesto.  It is so easy.  It’ll make you happy.

Just curious, what are some of your scent-memories?

Basil Pesto


  • 3 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 garlic clove
  • About 2/3 cups extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste (be careful, it doesn’t need much salt)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toast the pine nuts on a cookie sheet in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In a blender, add the basil, toasted pine nuts, and garlic.  Pulse until finely chopped.  While the blender is still running, slowly add the olive oil until a smooth and thick consistency is made.  Blend in your salt (I added about 1/2 teaspoon and felt it was a bit much).  Use right away or store in a container in the refrigerator.  Enjoy!
  1. Great styling, and the pesto looks delicious!

  2. PESTO! yum.sunblock always reminds me of my momma and long days at the beach. I looove it. Happy Tuesday!!

  3. Sounds delicious. And easy! I’m trying it out soon!

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