Lemon Basil Pesto {Vegan}

I was ridiculously excited about making fresh pesto using basil from my garden.

Really, I was way too happy about it.

It was my first try at it, and I not only wanted to nail it, I wanted to give it a little bit of an added flavor that wouldn’t be overpowering and could be used in a variety of dishes.

Lemon — that’s what would add some extra depth, but not be too overpowering. Plus, it would create a good summery taste.

What did I have to lose, right? The pesto ended up coming out way better than I expected it would and I couldn’t believe it was so easy to make! From this single batch of pesto I made pasta for two days worth of lunches, a mozzarella sandwich and a pesto garden pizza.

Lemon Basil Pesto
by Michelle Maskaly, The Adirondack Chick 

2 cups fresh basil
1/3 cup pine nuts
2 lemons
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic (chopped)

Note: I don’t have a food processor, but my beloved blender has a food processor attachment. It works amazing and just as good as any food processor I’ve used in the past. Feel free to use whichever you have in your kitchen.

Rinse and dry the basil.

Once the basil is try, put it and the pine nuts in the food processor and run until there are no more whole pieces of basil.

Add the two cloves of garlic and pulse until there are no large chunks left. You may need to scrape the sides to make sure everything is getting well blended.

Cut each lemon in half and squeeze all the juice out of it both. Then, strain the juice and add to the pesto.

Pulse the pesto and then taste. If you want a stronger lemon flavor, you can grate a little of the lemon peel and add to the pesto, but use it very sparingly or the pesto will taste bitter.

{I actually suggest adding each lemon separately and tasting frequently to make sure you get a smooth lemon flavor that is not too overpowering}

Here comes the fun part. Cover the pesto and as the food processor is spinning, slowly pour the olive oil in and keep on low until it’s completely mixed in.

And you’re done!


3 thoughts on “Lemon Basil Pesto {Vegan}

  1. We've almost got enough basil for a batch of pesto but not quite. Of course, now i'm going to have to go outside and check as you've made me hungry! One of my favorites because it is so easy is grilled shrimp and pasta tossed with pesto. A complete meal and so easy.

    Visiting from LBS.

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