Basil-Lemon Verbena Pesto Recipe -- This pesto is made with basil and lemon verbena, and it's absolutely packed with fresh, intense, delicious flavors. It's rich, smooth and its lovely fragrance unbelievably divine!

Lemon Verbena Pesto Recipe

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

Course Condiments, Ingredient, Sauces
Cuisine Italian
Keyword great for pasta
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 167 kcal
Author Valentina K. Wein


  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. Add the basil and lemon verbena to a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and blend until they're finely chopped.
  3. Add the toasted pine nuts, Parmesan, garlic and sugar and blend until everything is mixed.
  4. Then add the extra virgin olive oil and blend until it's a smooth mixture.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Here's How to Season to Taste.)

Recipe Notes

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.