Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Sweet Scent of Basil

I was so excited to find basil plants at the grocery store the other day. The scent of basil always makes me think of the warm days of summer.

One of my favorite basil recipes is for pesto pizza. It's something we typically only enjoy during the summer months, so it was a very special treat.

Pesto Recipe:

2 cups packed basil leaves (the plant only produced 1 cup, so I supplemented with arugula)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup walnuts
1 large clove of garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Dough recipe:

1 package of yeast
1 tablespoon of honey
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
1 cup wrist-temperature water
3 cups (approximately) of flour (I use half spelt and half unbleached white)
olive oil to drizzle on top of dough

After it rises, you'll have enough dough to make two pizzas.


Basil and Arugula Pesto
Hearts of Palm artichokes
Greek Olives
Mozzarella Cheese

Bon Appetite!


  1. Yum! Thanks for sharing the recipe. Can't wait to try this! My 'better' grocery store always has live basil in stock...pricey, perhaps, but pricelsss for a recipe like this.

  2. That looks delicious! I love basil, too. My husband is a chef and makes the most wonderful bruschetta. I am definitely going to have to make him make your pizza recipe. :-)

  3. Oh my, this both looks and sounds delicious! What a great summer time treat. :)

  4. ooohhh, this sounds so yummy & healthy!
    our daughter is the best pizza maker, so i will have to show her this recipe. thanks for sharing.
    bon appetit!
    judi ;)

  5. I'm in awe of the fresh flowers that you keep in your home. Are they all from your garden or do you buy them at a market?

  6. Mmmm I love basil - very fragrant and it's a stable part of my italian diet!

  7. just ate spaghetti with pesto&tomato&black olives :D
    I love basil!
    your pizza hımm yummy :D

  8. Hmmmm - that a great idea for this evening. In my garden I have fresh basil, in the kitchen the rest :o)

    Beautiful inspiration - thanks!!!


  9. That looks soooo yummy! I will have to try this one on the hubby! Hope your having a great day! xoxo

  10. gonna try your recipe...thanks!

    Of course, my boys would DIE before they even dared to taste it So, I'll have to make it for myself.

  11. Pesto is one my favorite things in the whole world. I'll bet the 1/2 arugula is a nice alternative too. And how impressive you make your own dough!

  12. Sweet basil is my all time favorite herb! I could breath in that scent all day long! The pizza recipe sounds delicious. As a winter alternative to your pesto pizza, you could try spinach. We made one this winter and it was delicious (topped with roasted red pepper and red onion).

  13. Great post! I love basil, also. I had a tree die in my back yard and was very upset until I realized that the sun hit that area very nicely. Now I can move my container herb garden to the ground!! YAY I do keep pesto in my freezer. I mix up tons of it and stick it in ziploc bags. It's nice to have it year round... I do however, look forward to that smell of fresh growing basil each year. I'll definitely be making your pesto pizza this summer. Thanks for sharing.

  14. this sounds wonderful!
    thanks for sharing!

  15. pesto pizza is my favourite food...i like mine with a little feta too...yummmmmm
    thank you for the recipes!

  16. This looks so fresh and delicious. The perfect springtime lunch!

  17. That looks so delicious Trina and you make it sound easy, almost easy enough for me to handle!

  18. Love your blog!!! I just got fresh basil for my garden and cooked with it last night. Thanks for the recipe!!

  19. I love pesto! I was just actually eyeing a basil plant at Home Depot but just wasn't ready to start buying plants...needs to be warmer!

    I will have to try your recipe. Looks scrumptious!


  20. that looks sooo yummy... I love pesto and basil and it seems perfect. I am going to save this and make it soon!


  21. Looks delicious! Anything that has fresh basil in it is a must-have in my recipe book!

    Thank you so much for sharing!!!

    Have a wonderful rest of the day!

  22. Isn't the smell of basil just intoxicating! If you put a potted plant of it on a warm stove, it will smell heavenly for hours.
    I cannot wait to try this recipe-it looks delicious and I think I may even attempt to make the dough!
    Have a wonderful day!

  23. Yummy!

    Thank you, can't wait to try it.

  24. Sending this straight to my mom who bless her heart, has been trying to make pizza from scratch but hasn't had much success.
    And I think I'll have to give it a try myself, looks so delicious! Thank you!

    Can't wait to be able to plant basil, among other things...thank goodness we can get such beautiful herbs at the store these days.

  25. We've had fabulous basil this year and it's sadly now coming to an end. It's been delicious in scrambled eggs with rosemary - another reason to look forward to summer. Leigh

  26. I have a basil plant on my kitchen window and it never fails to keep reproducing. I made pesto yesterday to have with our dinner - it's interesting that you use walnuts, I must try that. I use pine nuts (and they're very expensive here). Will try your recipe..Rachaelxx

  27. Our basil is just finishing here, but I managed to get a big jar of pesto made before it went to basil heaven...although after it's haircut, perhaps one last mad rush of growth?? I can hope. Must try your recipe.

  28. YUM!! I love pesto and artichoke on pizza :)

  29. Oh yum! That pizza looks and sounds so delicious!! I grew basil last year and chopped in fine, then placed it in ice cube trays and added water to fill the tray up completely. After it froze, I then popped out the cubes of basil and put them in a freezer bag in the freezer and had fresh basil to use in my recipes through the winter. It was wonderful. I saw this idea on HGTV.

  30. This looks delicious and I can't wait to try it. My daughter is excited about the dough--that's her favourite part!!

    I would love a tutorial from you on how you keep basil. Where do you plant it?

  31. We love pesto pizza too (but i cheat and use a pre-made base!!)

    Yours looks so much yummier Trina!!

    Yay for basil, means spring is really sprung :)


  32. I love basil in or on just about anything. Have you ever tried pizza on the grill? The flavor is amazing.


  33. I love homemade pizza, I am going to try your recipe as soon as the basil is in season here. Your photos are amazing! All the best, Lori

  34. A sweet and savory hellow from Frog Hollow Farm. Your post is just wonderful - simple and elegant, and of course, yummy. Ciao, bella!!

  35. Sounds great! I love fresh pesto. I use a similar recipe, except I use pine nuts. I'll have to try the walnuts the next time.

  36. Hello Basil Pizza. Meet mouth.

    Mouth. Meet Pizza.

    Heaven in the form of pesto. Yep.

  37. Mouth watering....YUM!!!

    Thank you!

    : )

    Julie M.

  38. WOW! This look so so so delicious. Thank you for sharing.

  39. Thanks for that will be our dinner tonight!!!!

  40. Yes, will have to try this one. Fresh basil is not available yet here in California. It is still too cold. But, it is coming soon and this recipe will have to be made up. Thanks for the recipe.

  41. Oh, I love the smell of basil. Your Pizza made my hungry. Now I have to make one tonight. The photo is lovely.

  42. My, this looks and sounds delicious! I can smell the basil! Yum!

  43. LOVE basil!!! My favorite is with tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, all sauteed and put over some yummy wheat pasta and topped with freshly grated parmesan. Maybe even some grilled chicken!! Your pizza looks fabulous, too. Need to try it.

  44. Hi Trina,
    OMG I love basil too. Such a good marriage with basil and tomato!!! But in all of your comments nobody sounds like they struggle to grow it, so what am I doing wrong?? I have lost track of the times that I have bought a basil plant from the grocery store and within a fortnight it has died. I have tried to water it (obviously) put it in the shade, in the sun and even under a glass cloche. So I have to agree with above, smileyisles....maybe a tutorial for us novice basil growers, please!!! Have a great day. Will call in again soon.
    Take care
    Tasmania, Australia

  45. To me, basil means summer. I love it so much and just planted some. Thanks for the delicious recipes. Hmmmm good!

  46. aaah love it also... and will surely try your recipe.. isnt spring grand???

  47. Hi JDB, This time of year, I buy my flowers at the market. I purchased the small white hydrangeas from Whole Foods Market. They're lasting so long! The green hydrangeas are from a local florist and haven't held up as well. Perhaps because the flowers are bigger. I also have a flower farm down the road from us so soon, I'll be able to get flowers from them. I do have a flower garden but we just planted it last summer so things are still quite young. ; ) Trina


Thank you for leaving your thoughts. Kind regards, Catherine

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