Almond and Garden Fresh Basil Pesto (with video)

An Almond and Garden Fresh Basil Pesto, with sweet almonds, aromatic basil, and lemon whirled into a fresh pesto for summer or winter meals. 

Almond Basil Pesto
Almond Basil Pesto

What Is Pesto?

Call it the green dressing in your egg salad, the sauce on your summer pasta, but let’s call it green brilliance!

A hefty schmear on a slice of homemade bread, or an even better topping on a summertime Pesto Pizza is how I like to indulge in pesto. 

I call pesto; the best creation of any sauce made from garden herbs.

Whirl into a sauce to eat on just about anything. 

Almonds In Pesto

Since I like lots of garlic in my pesto (fabulous immune booster), I find the sweetness of almonds, a great balance to the tang of the garlic. 

Furthermore, I’ve come to love garlic more, now that I’ve started growing my own and found that the scapes (the green shoots above ground), grow in winter for all my soups!

Lightly ground almonds, in the pesto, also gives a little crunch to the texture.

Makes for a lovely dressing in egg salad, or a spread on celery sticks.  

Nut Free Basil Pesto

Not everyone likes nuts.

Some folks don’t like the texture of nuts in their sauce.

There is also the concern of nut allergies, and for this concern, especially since my granddaughter has nut allergies, I’ve also made nut free pesto.

Simply follow the recipe I’ve given to you here and leave out the nuts!

Patio Pot Basil Pesto

Summertime Basil Pesto

Can you think of a more delicious use for the abundant basil growing in your summertime pots? 

The delicate leaves puree easily into a smooth spread.

Almonds, being also delicate in flavor, will not detract from the taste of the basil. 

But don’t forget to make lots now to stash away in the freezer for winter recipes.

It seems the deeper we go into the short, cold winter months, the more I long for the flavors of my summer gardens.

For this reason, think ahead and stash some away now, while the fresh flavors of summer herbs are still available.

What Type Of Basil For Pesto

Most commonly used basil for pesto is the gentle flavored, almost sweet Italian basil.

Soft, floppy leaves of green, make this basil sweetest for sauces and pasta dishes. 

Thai basil can also be used in pesto, but be prepared for a very different flavor!

This very aromatic basil smells and tastes a bit more like fennel with a slightly spicier flavor. 

If making pesto with Thai basil, I would definite go with an earthier tasting nut, like walnut, or even peanuts.

What a great flavor for a delicate white fish!

Purple basil is also a great choice but again, with a different flavor.

This basil has a strong clove flavor. 

Pesto is a good use for purple basil because it remains raw and keeps its color.

Cooking purple basil, however, turns the leaf to an unappealing black color, not a problem if tomato sauce is being used. 

Basil Plants
Basil Plants

How To Make Pesto

  • First, pick the fresh leaves from your basil plant or store bought bundle. Wash and pat dry. 
  • Second, give a quick whirl in the blender or food processor of the almonds, then remove them. 
  • Last, place all the ingredients into the blender or food processor, placing the wet ingredients in first and top with almonds, whirl until the desired paste is obtained. Remove and serve or store in a closed container
How to make pesto
How To Make Pesto

Equipment Needed

  • Food processor – mu food processor of choice is this one, and it has lasted more than 10-years, and I use it nearly everyday. Worth every penny!
  • Garlic press
  • Citrus press
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Rubber spatula
  • Airtight container
almond basil ingredients
Almond Basil Ingredients

Ingredients Needed

  • Basil leaves
  • Almond
  • Cheese – non dairy or dairy. I prefer Pecorino for pesto
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt
Almond and Garden Fresh Basil Pesto

Almond and Garden Fresh Basil Pesto

Sweet almonds, aromatic basil, tangy garlic and lemon whirled into a dairy or non-dairy cheesy pesto sauce or spread. 
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Course: Sauces
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Equipment

  • Food processor or blender

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Fresh Basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup Almonds
  • 1/3 cup Pecorino cheese or non-dairy
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp Salt or to taste

Instructions

  • Place the leaves, almonds and garlic in a processor or blender. Grind until the nuts are broken.
  • Add the salt, lemon juice and cheese and puree. While the machine is running, pour in the olive oil. Taste to adjust the salt.

Video

Notes

For nut allergies, a great basil pesto can still be made substituting cooked cannellini beans for the nuts. 
For dairy allergies, simply use a dairy-free cheese. 
Almond and Garden Fresh Basil Pesto
Almond and Garden Fresh Basil Pesto
Robin
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