Gallery: DIY Hostess Gift Idea: Homemade Pesto in Gourmet-Looking Recyc...



In a food processor or blender, grind up your pine or walnuts until they're coarsely chopped.


For the packaging:

  • A glass jar (we used a stout artichoke jar but you can use any jar you like)
  • A rubber band
  • A square of recycled fabric or tissue paper that will fit over the lid 
  • A ribbon (we used one that we had from an old box of chocolates)
  • A nice label or a piece of white paper on which to write either your name, or the recipient’s

For the pesto (we like pesto but you can use any sauce or homemade food you like):

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, walnuts, or sunflower seeds
  • 3 medium-sized garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup parmigiano-reggiano or romano cheese (leave this out if you’d like your pesto to be vegan, or you could use vegan cheese, or even a tablespoon of nutritional yeast instead)

Remember that pesto can be made with pretty much any leafy green, with any combination of nuts, garlic (or onion) and cheese (dairy or vegan) that you like. Experimenting with different ingredients can yield some pretty incredible results, so feel free to get creative in the kitchen! Try adding some spinach to the mixture, or using almonds or pistachios instead of pine nuts or walnuts. You can also use herbs other than basil! Cilantro and pumpkin seed pesto has a vibrant, unique flavor, and arugula-lemon pesto is downright addictive.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you could also try making pesto with some of the wild greens that grow wild in your area. There are many edibles that can be foraged just about anywhere, but be sure to do your research before eating them just to make sure that what you’re eating is safe. Some commonly foraged edible greens include:


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  1. Jessica Rozar December 13, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    How long will this pesto last in the jar? It has a lot of fat so I bet it spoils fast!

  2. Yuka Yoneda December 1, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    Jess, you caught me. Those ARE actually pecans in the photo! I decided to use them up rather than buy a whole new plastic thingie of walnuts or pine nuts but yes, let me come clean. They are pecans ! Haha.

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