Pecan and Basil Pesto

Heidi Hoerman


Pesto is very easy to make if you have blender or a food processor. Classic pesto is basil, garlic, parmesan, pine nuts and olive oil but you can make a pesto of any similar mix of ingredients.

This pesto uses pecans and leaves out the cheese, giving the option of using it as a cooking sauce and adding the cheese separately to the resulting dish.

The addition of lemon juice adds brightness but only a very mild lemon flavor remains when the pesto is cooked.

This pesto is best when allowed to cook for a minute or two in the dish being served.

pinch tips: How to Core and Slice a Pineapple




Makes about 2 cups


20 Min


2 c
fresh basil leaves, removed from the stems and washed
6 clove
garlic, peeled
1/2 to 3/4 c
olive oil, extra virgin
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp
coarse salt
1/2 tsp
freshly ground pepper
1/2 c
pecan halves or pieces

Directions Step-By-Step

Place basil, garlic, 1/2 cup oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor and blend until somewhat smooth. Force down the leaves and add more olive oil as needed to enable creation of a sauce about the consistency of a good, thick ketchup.
Add the pecans and blend briefly, leaving small bits of pecans visible.
Refrigerate or freeze. In its raw state, the pesto is quite harsh tasting. Add it to a dish a few minutes before you are done cooking.
SERVING SUGGESTION: Boil pasta in salted water until al dente. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet and saute sliced summer squash or zucchini until turning translucent but still firm. Add the pesto and pasta to the squash and saute about 2 minutes until the pesto is cooked a bit. Serve with freshly grated hard cheese (parmesan, romano, etc.) on top.

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Spreads
Dietary Needs: Vegetarian
Other Tags: Quick & Easy, Healthy