Pesto… who doesn’t love it?

When it comes to pesto, I try and stay as traditional as possible, although my version swaps out the parmesan cheese for nutritional yeast, and I tend to use cashews instead of pine nuts… largely because the latter are so darned expensive and are far from a local food product here in the tropics.

Having said that, pesto can really be whatever you want it to be, so long as you use some kind of tasty leafy green, like spinach, kale, or rocket, and add some kind of nut. Adding sundried tomatoes, in my opinion, is an excellent choice for added sophistication, although it will make your pesto brown rather than that tantalizingly vibrant green we’re used to seeing. The only thing you really can’t swap out or change is the olive oil – use the good stuff, and enjoy the strong flavour 😉

Let’s get cracking on a yummy batch of pesto you’ll be able to use in your next meal… 😉

Flavour: Herbalicious!

Yield: 1 cup


  • approx 6 cups gently packed basil leaves (or any other green you’d like to use)
  • half cup pine nuts (or any other nut you’d like to use – I usually substitute with cashews or macadamias, and have been known to use sunflower seeds – these are all best toasted first)
  • quarter cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • half teaspoon salt
  • generous grind black pepper
  • quarter cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. Pack half your basil into a food processor with your nuts, nutritional yeast, garlic, salt and black pepper – blend until finely chopped, scraping down the sides periodically with a spatula
  2. Add the rest of the basil, and continue to blend and scrape until you have a chunky paste
  3. Stream in the olive oil gradually with the food processor running continuously – do this until you have an emulsified smooth paste
    • Amateur tip: you can make pesto with less oil if you want to use it as a spread or dip, and more oil if you want to use it as a sauce or condiment
  4. Transfer your pesto to a jar right away, drizzle a little olive oil on top to seal it, and keep it in the fridge (or freezer) until you use it – it will lose its vibrant greenness quite quickly, but will still taste nice and fresh for up to a week (or a month if you freeze it)
    • Amateur tip: it’s best to use the smallest jar/container possible, so as to keep your pesto airtight – this will keep it fresher for longer

2 thoughts on “Pesto

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