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Making Basil Pesto

In this lesson, the students learn to pick, make and cook with basil pesto.


Basil is ready to pick!


In this lesson students will be able to:

  • Know how to pick basil from the garden

  • Learn how to make basil pesto

  • Talk about different recipes that use pesto

  • Know how to store or freeze pesto properly

Bliss Value: The joy of making and eating basil pesto


Basil in the garden (or large quantity from farmers market or friends)

Several scissors to cut basil if picking from garden

Food processor (mortar and pestle optional)

Olive oil, grated cheese, walnuts and garlic

Crackers or bread


Have all materials ready in kitchen



In the opening circle:

  • Ask students who knows what pesto is and where it originated (Genoa, Italy)

  • The word "pesto" is derived from the Genovese word pesta which means to pound or crush. Pesto is traditionally made with a mortar and pestle.

  • Take them to basil garden and show them how to pick the basil. Cut the top whorl that is just getting ready to bud. Pick a small handful per student.

  • Go to kitchen and remove leaves from stalk discarding stems and flowers

  • Follow the basil pesto recipe

  • Serve on bread or crackers

  • Show the class how to store fresh pesto in small storage container drizzled with olive oil to preserve the color. Pesto may be stored for a few weeks in the fridge or up to a year in freezer.



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