Basil Lemon Verbena Pesto recipe, a twist on traditional pesto, is packed with fresh, intense and delicious flavors. The texture is smooth and creamy, and the fragrance is unbelievably divine! This is one of my favorite unique pesto recipes, and it works well in many different dishes.
What is pesto?
- Pesto is a thick Italian sauce, made with crushed basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil.
- Pesto sauce is typically served with pasta, but these days we see it in sandwiches, on pizzas, in soups, and the list goes on.
- Pesto usually involves no cooking and is best when eaten freshly made with a mortar and pestle.
There are a lot of unique pesto recipes out there because over the years people have been experimenting with all sorts of other fresh green herbs, as well as leafy greens, like kale and spinach.
Enter Basil Lemon Verbena Pesto Recipe!
The same sweet 12-year old who grew the tomatoes in my Avocado Soft Boiled Egg Toast Recipe, is responsible for this gorgeous basil and lemon verbena.
These herbs are so pretty and their scent is over-the-top wonderful.
My son is the reason we have an herb and vegetable garden. It was all his idea and it’s so awesome!
I find myself running out to grab a bundle of herbs almost every day. And clearly, today was no exception!
Lemon verbena is so incredibly aromatic! If you gently rub the leaves, you will release the most lovely scent imaginable! The fragrance is captivating, relaxing and simply beautiful!
And how beautiful are these basil varieties?
I love the purple and pink flowers in the Thai basil. It’s like a painting.
This pesto is super delicious on everything from fish and poultry to fruit and toast!
My gardener (reminder: sweet 12-year-old son), even dips chips into it!
A few more unique pesto recipes:
This pesto is packed with fresh, intense and delicious flavors. The texture is smooth and creamy, and the fragrance is unbelievably divine!
*Makes approximately 3/4 cup
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 5 cups loosely packed basil leaves, washed and dried (see notes)
- approximately 2 dozen lemon verbena leaves, washed and dried
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 3 small garlic cloves, peeled, with root end trimmed off
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Add the pine nuts to a small sauté pan and place it over medium-low heat. Moving the pan around often, heat just until they're golden, aromatic and shiny, about 3 minutes. They will be shiny from the oils coming to the surface. (Be careful, as they can go from just right to too dark in seconds.) Set aside to cool.
Add the basil and lemon verbena to a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and blend until they're finely chopped.
Add the toasted pine nuts, Parmesan, garlic and sugar and blend until everything is mixed.
Then add the extra virgin olive oil and blend until it's a smooth mixture.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Here's How to Season to Taste.)
You can use any variety of basil you like. I used a combination of Thai Basil and Pesto Perpetuo Basil.
The pesto can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to about a week.