Five Nut Pesto

Pesto’s one of those foods that isn’t really cheaper to make than buy, especially when you can pick some up in bulk at Costco.  That said, I always think that homemade pesto tastes better than the store-bought – less oily, less salty, more tang & more crunch.  I make this pesto once a year at the end of the summer, when you can still buy whole pots of basil.  My favourite ways to eat it: over pasta, spread on sandwich bread, smashed over boiled new potatoes.  I freeze leftovers in small tupperware containers that I can take out in the fall and winter for a special treat.

Notes: This recipe is a serious drag without a food processor.  Blenders have a tough time with all the ingredients, so you have to chop it all up by hand and blend it together in a bowl, which, while doable, takes… forever.  Happily, it’s forgiving in every other respect.  Omit nuts that you don’t carry; go for all Parmesan or all Pecorino; add in arugula or more parsley to make up for less basil.  Serve it to your favourite friends.

Five Nut Pesto

adapted slightly from La Cucina Siciliana di Gangivecchio


  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup pistachio nuts
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup Italian parsley
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup pecorino cheese, grated
  • salt & pepper
  • about 3/4 cup olive oil

1.  Put all ingredients but the olive oil in your food processor.  Begin to blend ingredients while slowly pouring in the olive oil until it reaches desired consistency.  The pesto should be grainy but spreadable.  Season to taste with additional salt & pepper.

One Comment

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  1. I just made this and it is absolutely wonderful! I got the basil from Sherway Market and the nuts from a turkish place in scarborough…everything tastes so fresh. thank you, Carissa!

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