Three Nut Pesto


Once upon a time, a friend from another life gave me this basic recipe for pesto. The nice thing about pesto is that if you don't have all of the ingredients, i.e. not enough basil or parsley, can't afford the pine nuts, or you only have a heel of parmesan in your fridge, you can wing it! 

And this is exactly what happened the other day. So, I faked it and improvised. I had just enough basil, scattered amounts of different nuts, and zero parsley; and, after all was said and done, I completely forgot to add the cheese. 

But this was not a fail! That is the beauty with is near impossible to botch. I use it on just about anything from sandwiches, steak, chicken, brown rice, leftover quinoa, and occasionally, pasta--knock yourself out and play with the recipe for your perfect combination! 


Classic Pesto

  • 2 cups basil, packed
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts (walnuts cheaper)
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 lemon juice, plus to taste
  • 1/3-1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil--this is gradually added until smooth consistently.
  • 1/2 tsp Salt & Pepper, plus extra to taste

3 Nut Kale (or Spinach) Pesto

  • 2 cups basil, packed
  • 1 cup kale or spinach
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt plus more to taste
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • Juice of lemon--add 50% first, then more to taste
  • (optional) 1/3 c parmesan, grated
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil to start plus more to taste


  1. Combine all ingredients to the optional cheese in a food processor, magic bullet or Vitamix.
  2. Add olive oil in a steady stream after turning it on.
  3. Taste once it is a beautiful green color for salt, acid and consistency.
  4. There is no right answer except for what your taste buds like.