House Made Pesto


Got basil? It’s summertime and I have happy basil plants both inside and outside, it has been a productive year for basil!

Here is a recipe that was developed after gleaning a few ideas from other folks. I recently tried some pesto that had a “secret ingredient” - the addition of a little balsamic added a great flavor twist! It was served with cherry tomatoes and small mozzarella balls so the dish had a caprese flair to it. Another friend likes to make her pesto with walnuts instead of pine nuts, oh - so many ideas to try! And what would happen if you left out the parmesan for dairy free or Whole30 meal planning? Guess what - it still tastes great!


1 1/2 cup basil leaves
3/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 cup walnuts
1/2 tsp sea salt


Mince the garlic size based on how much faith you have in your food processor, if you think it will leave big chunks, go ahead and mince it fine, otherwise, throw it in! Place the garlic and walnuts in a small food processor, then cover them with the olive oil. Process together until the walnuts and garlic are ground up. Add remaining ingredients and continue to pulse until you have the desired consistency. For a “saucier” pesto you can add a little more olive oil.

I’ve made this a few times now and it is a very forgiving recipe. There’s really no need to measure so don’t sweat over the details! 😃

So I have pesto, what do I do with it? Oh the places you can go . . .

  • Blend with mozzarella balls and cherry tomatoes for a perfect summer side dish salad

  • Use as a chicken marinade, place 4 tablespoons of pesto in a container, add a couple more tablespoons of olive oil and 2 chicken breasts sliced longwise. Perfect for grilling!

  • Spread on sliced sandwich meat, top with lettuce, avocado, and tomato and you have a meat wrap.

  • Drizzle a teaspoon over your scrambled eggs in the morning.

  • Whisk together 2 Tbsp pesto, 2 Tbsp olive oil, and 1 Tbsp of lemon juice for a perfect salad dressing.

  • Quinoa salad dressing - Combine quinoa, feta, kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, and walnuts. Whisk 2 Tbsp pesto, 2 Tbsp olive oil, and 1 Tbsp lemon juice for the dressing and add to salad.