What to do with wilting basil?

It has sat there for a week, neglected and forgotten; we finally came to the rescue just in time and whipped up a basil pesto. The basil was bought from the International Supermarket and still is pungent and has made an intense green pesto.

You need:

A bag or pot of basil leaves
A handful of walnuts, or you could use pinenuts, brasil nuts or hazelnuts
About 100g of cheese  (we used cumin cheddar from J. Gould)
2 cloves of garlic
Olive oil
A squeeze of lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste


Put all the ingredients into a jug, blitz with a hand held blender, adding enough olive oil to get the smooth texture you want. Bottle up into an air tight container and keep in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.

You can use this in a simple pasta sauce adding it to cream or tomato passata; it will make a pesto butter smeared onto chicken breasts before grilling; it could be diluted with more olive oil and vinger into a salad dressing; added to quiches or soups; or may be even pesto, grilled bacon bits and grated cheese as a wintery jacket potato filling.

How would you use your homemade basil pesto?

About walthamstowfoodies

We have a passion for good food – bought locally, cooked simply and shared with friends in Walthamstow, London and beyond
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2 Responses to What to do with wilting basil?

  1. This looks delicious, and the International Supermarket stocks inexpensive fresh herbs, usually of very good quality. For a healthier (non-dairy) option, try swapping out cheese for cashew nuts – they’re a little drier so increase the amount of olive oil used by a few drops.

    Basil also rehydrates very readily if cut and plunged in a deep glass of cold water. It’s pretty easy to root too…



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