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  • Writer's picture Sophie Jobin

Homemade: A Twist on Pesto

Updated: Oct 27, 2022

Basil season is among us and there's always a question of what to do with all of it?

One way to utilize the most out of your basil is by making pesto. It uses a lot of it at once which helps keep your plant well pruned!


What is Pesto?

Now if you aren't familiar with it, pesto is a kind of uncooked sauce originally from Italy. Traditionally made with:

  • Basil

  • Salt

  • Crushed garlic

  • Pine Nuts

  • Extra-virgin Olive Oil

  • Certain kinds of cheese such as Parmesan

Sidenote: It was also traditionally all chopped by hand and never blended. Oh, how times have changed.

What is Different Here?

The pesto below involves a little twist on the normal ingredients:

  • Instead of garlic cloves, I'm using garlic scapes from my garden (as this is scape season). If you only have garlic cloves, that works just fine.

  • Instead of pine nuts, I'm using pumpkin seeds because pine nuts are expensive in comparison. If you are looking for a #nutfreerecipe, this is a good option.


Fresh Basil Pesto

with Garlic Scapes and Pumpkin Seeds

Prep time: 5 mins Cook time: 5 mins Yield: 1 cup


  • 2 cups Fresh Basil Leaves

  • 1/2 cup Parmesan-Reggiano Cheese, grated

  • 1/3 cup Pumpkin Seeds

  • 2 Garlic Scapes, chopped (substitute with 3 Garlic Cloves if no scapes)

  • 1/3 cup of Olive Oil

  • 1/4 tsp Salt, add more if desired

  • 1/8 tsp Pepper, add more if desired


1. In a food processor add: pumpkin seeds and basil, pulse 5-6 times. Add garlic scapes (or cloves) and cheese, pulse 5-6 times.

2. Scrape down dry ingredients with a spoon or spatula. Place the lid back on the food processor without the cap. On a low setting, add the olive oil slowly through the open cap. This will keep the pesto from separating.

3. Add salt and pepper to mix.

How to Store?

  • If you want to use it later in week. Store in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to a week.

  • If you want to portion it out for later use. Freeze in an ice-cube tray and place frozen cubes in a freezer bag for up to 6 months.

  • If you want to save it for a rainy day. Place pesto into small jars or plastic containers for up to 9-12 months.

What to Pair it with?

Add a spoon full to pasta, dollop on baked potato or pizza, even enjoy it with avocado and egg on toast.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it! Tag #jobinkitchengarden on Instagram or on Facebook and let me know!

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