Candace Karu

Quick & Easy Pesto

Small Plates & AppetizersCandace KaruComment

Prep Time:
5 Min

Cook Time:
5 Min

3 Cups


  •  1 cup toasted nuts (walnuts, almonds hazelnuts)
  • 2 packed cups of herbs (basil, cilantro, parsley)
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup hard, aged cheese
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Zest from half a lemon (optional)



  1. I use a generous handful of toasted nuts, my favorite are walnuts and almonds. (I’ve stopped using pine nuts in any dish after having a case of Pine Mouth last year. Read about this weird phenomenon here.) I pulse these, along with three cloves of garlic in the food processor.
  2. Next come the herbs. I made several batches with basil and several more with parsley. I love cilantro pesto, but I didn’t have enough from my garden this time. I fill the food processor bowl with herbs, usually about two packed cups and blend nuts, garlic, and herbs. If I’m using parsley I also use the zest of half a lemon.
  3. Then I add about 1/2 cup of cheese. I usually use a good quality Parmigiano Reggiano, but lately I have loved the addition of Cabot Clothbound Cheddar. It has the same earthiness and texture as the Parmigiano, but a depth of flavor that really stands up to the strong taste of the herbs.
  4. Finally I drizzle about 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil in the processor as I pulse. That’s about it. Nothing could be easier.