The Hill food lovers and writers are totally spoiled after devouring Rancho La Puerta’s fresh picked organic herbs. We foraged in the gardens, then tasted, cooked, and dined on fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs for one short glorious week.

Now back home, we buy, plant and eat the freshest of organic herbs to satisfy our elevated taste buds.

Making pesto with fresh picked or farmer’s market basil leaves adds an extra dimension to the classic sauce.


Ingredients -4-6 servings
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 garlic clove, peeled
1/4 cup pine nuts
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup EVOO – extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp black pepper – we use more fresh ground to taste
pinches of sea salt to taste


Combine basil, garlic, pine nuts and cheese in blender container.

Pulse on/off about 5 times to coarsely chop ingredients. Trickle in olive oil with blender running on low until mixture is a smooth puree.

Remove from blender and stir in salt and pepper.


We love this pesto on pasta. For the Spring, we also serve it on or with roast lamb. Although basil has a rich flavor, with a trace of clove and mint, we sometimes experiment by adding a few sprigs of fresh parsley, rosemary or mint when adding to lamb or tomato dishes.

We prefer making this simple sauce fresh, yet it keeps in an airtight jar for a day or two in your refrigerator.

Brenda C. Hill
International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association
Books By Hills Success Log Where & What in the World Blog

Finalist in the Writing and Publishing category of the 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, “$uccess, Your Path to a Successful Book”