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Basil Pesto - Improved version { Vegan + Gluten-free}


Pesto is a classic Italian sauce which traditionally consists of fresh basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, salt, olive oil and parmigiano reggiano cheese. It adds big burst of flavor to dishes. It's fragrant, vibrant and green too! Remember green is always good for you and so is pesto if eaten in moderation.

Earlier when I was making pesto, I was blitzing everything together which was giving my pesto a dull green color. I have improvised the method and now I can proudly say that I have perfected the recipe of pesto. Now it is yummier, creamier and I for one have a big grin on my face whenever I make it :D

There is so much you can do with pesto :-
  • Make sandwiches.
  • Use it as a dressing to make salads.
  • Dish up beautiful risottos using pesto.
  • Meat lovers can spread pesto over their meat and relish.
  • Use it as a pizza sauce.
  • Mix pesto in mayonnaise or sour cream for a delicious dip.
  • Who doesn't like pesto pasta!
  • Flavour soups with pesto.

When I make a batch of pesto, I eat it with pretty much everything - chapati, oats, salads, rice noodles. It is just too yum!

There are lot of versions of pesto. I have used walnuts instead of pine nuts and omitted cheese because I think pesto is creamy and delicious on its own. Pesto can be stored in air-tight container which will last in fridge for a week. You can deep-freeze pesto in jars which will last for months.

  1. 3 cup fresh basil leaves
  2. 8-10 walnuts
  3. 1/4th cup extra virgin olive oil
  4. salt and black pepper to taste
  5. 1-2 medium clove of garlic
  6. 1-2 Tsp Lemon juice


Blitz walnuts in a processor. Take ground walnuts out of processor and keep aside.

In the same processor, add basil leaves, salt, pepper powder, lemon juice, olive oil and blend well till paste like consistency is achieved.

Empty pesto in a jar. Add ground walnuts and mix with spoon.

Store in an air-tight container with a slick of oil and refrigerate. It will last for about a week.


  • Raw garlic is too pungent, do not add too much garlic otherwise you will loose flavour of basil.
  • Avoid cheese if you want to deep-freeze pesto. 
  • You must add a layer of oil before deep-freezing to prevent air contact and blackening of pesto.
  • Add ground walnuts only at the last stage. Processing walnuts together with basil makes pesto bitter since walnuts release oil.
  • Do not add water at all otherwise pesto will get spoilt very quickly.

Thanks for reading


Do you often order Penne Arrabiata in restaurants?? Try my recipe of Pasta in Arrabiata Sauce and discover how yum and easy it is!


  1. Thanks for the information. I really like the way you express complex topics in lucid way. It really helps me understand it much better way. basil powder


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