Basil Pesto

Basil is an incredibly fragrant herb that also happens to be heart-healthy, full of valuable antioxidants and high in minerals like iron, calcium and magnesium.

I got sick of it last year when I was on my raw cleanse, because I made this delicious raw marinara sauce all the time and basil-ed myself out.

Now, I feel ready to have basil again – and I couldn’t resist its aromatic scent last week at the farmers market. After using it in a couple of dishes, I wanted to preserve the goodness, so I made a freezer-friendly pesto.

This basil pesto is tangy, sweet and economical, since I used sunflower seeds instead of pine nuts. If you want to add a cheesy flavour, you could toss in a tablespoon of nutritional yeast (I’m not a pesto purist, so please forgive me if what I’m suggesting is sacrilege to you).

I froze my pesto in a couple of small containers, but you could use ice cube trays and then pop them out to add instant flavour to sauces and dressings. Eat this along with crackers or veggies, as a sandwich spread, or as a pizza sauce.  I’m definitely going to reserve some of mine for my quick tortilla pizza.

What other ways do you use pesto?

Love desserts? Me too! That’s why I wrote an e-book about how to make them healthy. Take a peek here.

Basil Pesto
Prep time
Total time
gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, vegan, five ingredients or less
Serves: 4
  • 1 lightly packed cup of basil
  • scant ½ cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ tsp salt, or more to taste
  1. Toss all ingredients into a high-speed blender or food processor and blend away. Stop to scrape down the sides as necessary.
  2. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.


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4 Responses to Basil Pesto

  1. frugalfeeding June 20, 2012 at 10:40 am #

    I love home made pesto – the smell and colour are incredible!

  2. A Table in the Sun June 20, 2012 at 8:38 pm #

    Pesto is the besto! I like to put it on fish for a nice light topping.

  3. Suzanne June 21, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    What are the chances we both post pesto on our blogs the week??? Must be the fresh air out here in Vancouver! So glad I found you from Making Love In The Kitchen!

    • Sondi Bruner June 21, 2012 at 4:21 pm #

      Great minds think alike, I guess. :)