In my kitchen, pesto is King. I use it on grilled chicken, in salads, sauces and spreads, on pizza and sandwiches.

I freeze it in baggies so I can dip into my little joy bank on a winter’s day for a savory-mouth memory.

IMG_3014This year the basil’s gone rampant in the garden.  A bumper crop of fearfully gorgeous plants.  It’s love at first sniff.



If you have basil in abbondanza or a bellissimo bunch from the farmer’s market, try this easy dish. I hate to admit it, but I am my mother’s daughter. One-pot meals make my heart do a happy dance.

Remember:  Pesto. Is. The. Star.  ♥

Basil Pesto with Potatoes, Green Beans, and Pasta

10 small new potatoes, 1/4 slices

2 cups of green beans

8 ounces of linguini (or whatever pasta you like)

sea salt to taste

freshly ground black pepper

Fill a large pot with water, potatoes, and some sea salt.  Bring to a boil. Cook the potatoes until they are just done, about 10-12 minutes. Remove the potatoes and place in a large serving dish.  Do not dump out the boiling water.

To the very same pot and water, add the green beans and cook about 7-8 minutes.   Remove and add the beans to the potatoes.

Add the linguini to the boiling water ~ yes, in the very same pot ~ and cook until just al dente. Remove and add the linguini to your serving dish. While the pasta cooks, make the pesto.



2 ounces of parmigiano reggiano cheese

1 garlic clove

1/2 cup pine nuts

2 cups packed fresh basil

some parsley

1/4 cup olive oil

Place the cheese and the garlic in a food processor and whirr until fine. Add the basil and pine nuts and drizzle in the olive oil slowly until the pesto is thoroughly processed.

Add the pesto, a little pasta water, and a few grinds of black pepper to the serving bowl mixture and toss well.




This isn’t me.  It’s Toni Basil, multi-award winning performer/choreographer/director/producer. Isn’t her name superbissimo?

143236269Did you know that the word basil comes from the Greeks? Their word, basilikon, means ‘king’.  They named their boys Basil, their girls, Basilia. How very royal.

I keep a bunch of basil on my counter.  It has no special significance. Unless, of course, it does.

Toni 8/12/14