Pesto (Without Pine Nuts)

Fresh basil! A recent gift from the farm had us pull out the food processor and try something we’ve never done before — pesto. I pulled out this book, Grilling: Exciting International Flavors from the World’s Premier Culinary College, for a recipe we could modify based on what we had in the kitchen.


  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup packed basil leaves
  • 1 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 4 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (we substituted sliced almonds because that’s what we had – walnuts are another of many alternatives)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Combine the garlic, basil, lemon zest, lemon juice, nuts, parmesan, salt, and pepper.

Pulse in the processor until finely chopped. (Some little hands love pushing the buttons, over and over… it’s better than TV!)

Add the olive oil in a thin stream with the food processor running and puree until thoroughly mixed into a thick paste.

The pesto is ready to serve now – on pasta, on bread, in wraps or as an ingredient in other interesting things. Or it may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, if it isn’t devoured first.

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