ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Host a Summertime Pesto Party

Updated on September 26, 2012

The Pesto Party - a Fabulous Summer Get-Together

Summer is full of delicious fresh foods and basil is one of best.  Why not celebrate this delicious ingredient with a party?  And what better way is there to celebrate basil than to make pesto?

For the past several years, friends of my family have thrown annual pesto parties in the summertime.  Clearly then, the idea is not my own, but it is simply too good to leave un-shared!

What is a pesto party?

A pesto party is a gathering of friends at which everyone eats, drinks, laughs, and makes pesto. Guests are encouraged to bring a bottle of olive oil and empty jars; hosts provide hardware, fresh basil, parmesan cheese, garlic, and pine nuts.

The party I had the pleasure of attending began with a delicious lunch inside the hosts' home. We then adjourned to the backyard, where we sat out on picnic blankets and culled through large bags of basil leaves, pulling off the stems to prepare it for the pesto.

The prepared leaves were then taken to a table where a blender was set up. Here, they were combined with olive oil and pine nuts to be made into pesto. Finished batches were poured into the jars that guests had brought. Guests then picked them up on the way out.

What makes pesto parties so special is the way they indulge the senses. Not only are guests eating and drinking, they are also enjoying the feel of fresh basil leaves in their hands, smelling the fresh aroma in the air, and of course hearing the cheerful whir of blenders and food processors as they grind away.

Pesto parties give guests something to do other than stand, eat, and talk. It is a nice break from the usual string of summer picnics and barbecues and feels novel- plus there are goodies involved! Few things are more satisfying than returning from a wonderful afternoon with a couple of jars of fresh, delicious pesto in hand!

What's more, pesto parties keep on giving. Even after the party is long over, guests and hosts alike can continue to use the pesto they made, which is divine in flavour, but also full of fond memories.

From planning to post party reflections, pesto parties are a wonderful summer activity. I hope you consider hosting one yourself!

Pesto How-To

Pesto Party Tips

Buy the basil in bulk- it would be prohibitively expensive to put chase pesto for this party from a grocery store. Try instead to buy it in bulk directly from a local farmer or wholesaler.

Substitute walnuts, pecans, or almonds for pine nuts- if you’re looking to save money... because pine nuts can get pricey!!

Make it a potluck- to reduce time spent planning and preparing, invite friends to bring dishes to your party. This can allow you to focus on setup for pesto creation.

Play with scale- if you don't want to hold a large soirée, no worries! It is very easy to scale down a pesto party into a small get-together of three of four friends.
Bring in extra hardware- depending on the size of your party, you might want reinforcements. Consider asking one or two guests if they might be willing to bring along a blender or food processor to expedite the pesto making process.

Be prepared for the mess- when pesto is made on a large scale, a mess is inevitable. Olive oil can get everywhere, and cleanup can be a nightmare- if you're not prepared. If you can, make the pesto outside, on a table that can be hosed down after the party. If you must prepare the pesto in your kitchen, lay down newspapers or mats to reduce post-party mopping and headaches.

Have extra jars on hand- though guests are encouraged to bring their own jars, some will inevitably forget or bring an inadequate number. For this reason, it is nice to have extra jars on hand. In the months leading up to the party, simply save old marinara, peanut, and jelly jars after you use them so you have plenty of containers once the party rolls around!

Freeze the pesto in ice cube trays for later use- pesto is best enjoyed fresh, but not all of it can be consumed right after the party, especially because such a high volume is produced. The best way to keep pesto fresh is to freeze it, and the best way to freeze pesto is to put it in batches into an ice cube tray and dump the frozen cubes into a resealable bag. These cubes can then be left out to thaw or microwaved when the occasion calls.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Simone Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      Oh, how fantastic! And I love the tip on that layer of olive oil. So smart!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      That is one of the herbs we grow in abundance in our yard and seldom do we use it all. Such a great idea...a pesto party! Thanks! Oh...and your tip about freezing the pesto in ice cube trays is spot on! Otherwise keep a layer of olive oil over the pesto containers in the fridge to keep it from turning dark. Up and useful!

    • Ren Chin profile image

      Ren Chin 

      7 years ago

      so cool!

    • Simone Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      I know! This time of year is so great!!

    • Jane@CM profile image

      Jane@CM 

      7 years ago

      This sounds like such fun! Great pesto ideas. I love the farmers market right now with all the fresh basil!

    • Simone Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      Oh, I am SO THERE!!! I have been craving fresh pesto for weeks!! T______T

    • kaltopsyd profile image

      kaltopsyd 

      7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Ooh, that looks like so much fun! Okay... the summer's almost over so I better get to planning this party. You're invited! :D

    • Simone Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      8 years ago from San Francisco

      LOL- everything is better when bikinis are involved, obviously. Hence the Pesto Bikini Party.

    • profile image

      stugod 

      8 years ago

      I would prefer the bikini party myself

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)