5 minute Basil Pesto

My heart is heavy today. Looking through pictures of the aftermath of Irma, and Harvey a few weeks ago, makes me wish more than anything that I could be there to help. My family thankfully is safe and sound in Florida. My parent’s beach house was destroyed, but in the grand scheme of things as long as they’re safe that’s all that matters. Anytime events like this happen, I love seeing people from all walks of life band together and help one another out. Keep doing it – we need more of that in the world. 

Meanwhile in Portland Fall is quickly approaching. I can feel it in the briskness of the air in the morning and the slow changing color of the leaves. It feels like it JUST turned to summer in Portland and now it’s making it’s swift escape. I don’t mind so much because I love autumn and everything that comes with it! The cozy sweaters, changing leaves, big bowls of soups & stews – I’m a big fan of it all.

Until pumpkin patches take over, I am going to relish in these last days of summer and soak up as much sun as possible and devour as many summer fruits and veggies that my body can stand. Something that we make on a weekly basis to have on-hand is this 5 minute basil pesto. Guys I’m tellin ya – it’s SO good. It makes chicken less boring, brightens any pasta dish, and makes avocado toast ah-mazing. I seriously want it every time I make toast now – it’s a good problem to have. 

Aren’t heirloom tomatoes the most beautiful things ever! We have been snagging them up at the farmers market and Trader Joe’s for weeks and they are a match made in heaven with this pesto. 

I had written this post a few days ago before the hurricane hit. It feels a little silly to gloat about pesto and tomatoes when most people don’t even have electricity…but pesto is still delicious nonetheless and I hope you all find a little escape in the chaos. 

Hugs and kisses xo

5 Minute Basil Pesto 

– 4 oz of fresh basil, stems removed
– 3 cloves of garlic
– 1/3 cup Parmesan
– 1/2 tsp salt (more to taste) 
– Juice of quarter of a lemon
– 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
– 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts (optional) 

What to do
1) Pulse all of the ingredients in a food processor until smooth. 
2) This recipe is so flexible, so add a little more oil, salt, or lemon juice to your liking. 

Note: Pine nuts can be pricey, so we don’t always use them in pesto, but they are delicious and add a sweet, nutty flavor. 



  1. September 13, 2017 / 2:15 pm

    So sorry to hear that. We have family in a couple parts of Florida, too, but thankfully they were safe.

    I LOVE fresh tomato season here in Oregon and this pesto sounds delicious!!

    • Hillary Harper
      September 14, 2017 / 4:42 am

      I’m happy to hear your family was safe! It was so scary there for a minute :/

  2. September 13, 2017 / 4:01 pm

    Those tomatoes are gorgeous! We still have tons of heirlooms in our garden and I don’t want one single one to go bad. I want to eat them all! This is actually a great idea for lunch today. I have everything except pine nuts (but I’ve used walnuts in the past as a substitute and they work well for pesto).

    • Hillary Harper
      September 14, 2017 / 4:40 am

      Mary, I’m jealous! I wish I had a garden to grow heirlooms. Apartment living isn’t the place, but someday 🙂

      I’ll have to try walnuts next time – that sounds delicious in place of pine nuts!

  3. September 14, 2017 / 2:42 am

    It’s so true what you said about all the tragedies happening right now. It’s so sad and heartbreaking but the silver lining is that people are coming together in such a beautiful way.

    Also, this recipe looks so yummy! I feel like even I could whip this up easily (and that’s saying something…)

    • Hillary Harper
      September 14, 2017 / 4:39 am

      Absolutely – It’s so inspiring to see how brave and generous people can be after their community has gone through so much.

      You could definitely whip this up in a snap 🙂 So easy and adds so much flavor!

  4. September 14, 2017 / 2:27 pm

    Those tomatoes are gorgeous!! I love homemade pesto too. I’m glad to hear your family is safe, but am so sorry to hear about the beach house 🙁

    • Hillary Harper
      September 16, 2017 / 4:38 pm

      Thank you Marlynn! Thank you for your kind words 🙂

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