Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Basil Walnut Pesto

The best way I know to use up a huge batch of basil is to make a huge batch of pesto! I really like the flavor of walnut pesto versus the traditional pesto with pine nuts, but you can substitute them  in this recipe, if you'd like. This pesto has a nice flavor--you won't even miss the parmesan that's included in traditional pestos. This recipe is easy to scale if you just want to make a small batch. I ended up freezing my extras in a silicone ice cube tray and then storing the frozen cubes in a resealable plastic bag for future use.

8 cups packed fresh basil leaves, rinsed and dried
2 cups toasted walnuts
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 tsp sea salt
freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice

  1. Place basil, walnuts, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until chopped and well combined. Add lemon juice and pulse once.
  2. With the processor running, add oil in a very slow stream.
  3. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.


  1. Can I use fresh basil leaves for this? I have a plant that won't stop growing, and I'd love to be able to use it!

    1. Hi, Julia! This recipe is meant for fresh basil. I created it to use up the basil growing like crazy in my garden. I just reworded the ingredients to clarify. I can see how it was confusing. Enjoy!

  2. How long will this keep in the fridge?

    1. Hi, Anon. I usually only keep what I'll use up within a week or so in the fridge. I spoon the rest into a silicone ice cube tray, freeze it, pop out the pesto cubes, and store them in a freezer bag for later use.