This Lemon Basil Pesto is made using walnuts or almonds instead of pine nuts. Walnuts are a source of antioxidants that help prevent damage caused by LDL (bad) cholesterol. Almonds and walnuts give this recipe a denser texture and rich taste.



2/3 cup (110 grams) Almonds or Walnuts

4 C. Fresh Basil, loosely packed, leaves and tender stems

3-4 Cloves of Garlic, plump and large

1 Lemon zest and juice

½ C. Parmesan, small dice, if using grated parmesan ¾ C.

1 C. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil and up to ¼ C more to taste

½ tsp. fine sea salt

A few grinds of Fresh Black Pepper


Preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit (176 Celsius) and toast nuts for 8-10 minutes. Keep an eye on them as they go from toasty to over-toasted fast!

Alternatively, toast the nuts on the stovetop in a dry pan for about 3-5 minutes, frequently tossing to avoid scorching. Set aside to cool.

In the work bowl of a food processor fitted with an S blade, add the basil, nuts, parm, garlic, lemon zest, juice, salt, and a few generous grinds of black pepper. Process, just to get the ingredients moving, then drizzle in the olive oil in a slow, steady stream with the processor running. Once all the olive oil is added, stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Process again until the ingredients are smooth. Add up to 1/4 cup (50 grams) more olive oil depending on how thick or thin you prefer pesto.

Store the Pesto

Homemade pesto can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days or for extended storage; it freezes beautifully for up to a year! Cover the top of the olive oil with a few tablespoons of oil if stored in a jar or lidded container. This will help preserve its bright green color.


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