Hemp Nut Pesto


Making pesto is an end-of-summer ritual in my kitchen. I freeze enough to get me through the winter and enjoy the rest fresh.

There are so many ways to eat pesto:
  • Slather it on fresh tomato slices
  • Serve it with grilled chicken, fish or tofu triangles
  • Use it to dress steamed vegetables
  • Whisk in some vinegar to make a pesto vinaigrette
  • Add a spoonful to the cooking water for whole grains like brown rice and quinoa
  • Use it as a dip for fresh radishes, bell pepper strips, carrot or celery sticks, cucumber and zucchini rounds
  • Stir a spoonful into scrambled eggs
  • Add a dollop to garnish vegetable soups

Hemp nuts are the star of this twist on pesto. They don’t just lend a rich and nutty goodness, they add healthy omega-3 fatty acids, protein and fiber.

Raw hemp nuts are worth tracking down (I get mine at the Galaxy Global Eatery near Union Square in Manhattan) but if you don’t have them, substitute another raw nut or seed, like walnuts or pumpkin seeds, and grind them in the food processor before adding the other ingredients.

1 cup raw hemp nuts
4 garlic cloves
1 big bunch basil, about 6 packed cups
1 cup shredded aged Parmesan cheese
1 cup extra virgin olive oil, first cold pressing
½ tsp sea salt

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and puree to a fine consistency, adding more olive oil if necessary. Taste and adjust the seasoning if desired.

Store in airtight containers in the fridge or freezer.