Lauren Kelly Nutritionist

Better Health, Better Food, Better You

It’s Guest Bloggers for the rest of this week…please welcome Chef Laura!

on March 13, 2012

I  feel so lucky to have these lovely friends be guest bloggers this week for me while I am away!!  And of course, Chef Laura just so happens to pick my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE- Pesto 🙂


I live in Charlotte, North Carolina with my boyfriend Darin and our 4month old Cocker Spaniel, Rocco.  Rocco loves to hang out with me in the kitchen when I’m cooking something up for my blog Chef Laura at Home.

Everyone in my family loves to cook and more importantly, loves to eat!  It’s not unusual for my Dad to have made a couple of cheesecakes by 8 am.  I knew early on that I loved to cook but I didn’t take the leap to Culinary School until I was 27.  After graduating from Scottsdale Culinary Institute {Le Cordon Bleu} in 2004, I started working as a full time Private Chef.  Recently I moved to Charlotte where I’m a Personal Chef and Food Writer for the Charlotte Examiner.

basil pesto

I love simple recipes using fresh ingredients, that’s why pesto is definitely one of my favorites.  It’s easy to make, good for you, and works in so many recipes.

Heather of girlichef is hosting this week’s Food Matter’s Project recipe, which is Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut “Pesto” {page 50} in The Food Matters Cookbook by Mark Bittman.  You can find the original recipe on her website!  For other great takes on this pesto recipe, go to The Food Matters Project website!

Here’s my take:  Oh So Good~ Basil Pesto!  

To make any pesto you have to use quality ingredients.  Basil is the main ingredient, so make sure it is fresh and fragrant, not wilted or torn.  A good quality extra virgin olive oil is also necessary! Also, make sure to buy fresh Parmesan Reggiano and grate it yourself!  That’s all you need and you’re ready to make Pesto!

In a food processor, combine…

… 2 cups fresh basil leaves.

…1 garlic clove.

… 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, 1/2 teaspoon salt & 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.

…. pulse to combine all the ingredients.

With the food processor running, add 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil in a slow stream until the consistency is smooth.

Stir in 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano.



Make sure your herbs are dry, excess water will spoil the pesto.

Top your pesto with olive oil.  This will help it keep longer in the fridge.

Freeze your pesto~ it will last a few months.    

If you get a chance stop by Chef Laura at Home and say hello!  You can also visit Chef Laura at Home on facebook.

Thank you SO much Laura! ❤ ❤ ❤


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