mint basil pesto

In my book, summer means pesto and lots of it.  Of course, the classic pesto features lots of gorgeous summer basil… but I have a long history of tinkering with the classics.

As I mentioned the other day, the only thing truly thriving in my little garden is the mint.  It’s sprawling into the areas where the cucumbers and eggplants are trying to grow (umm, excuse me…), and it has nearly smothered the poor marigolds.  So, I lopped off an armful the other day and embarked on a fresh mint recipe quest.  There are only so many blackberry mojitos a girl can drink in the summer.

mint basil pesto

And so I created this pesto.  I find it tastes a bit lighter than the classic version… the peppery undertones of basil are there, but the mint cools and brightens the flavors a bit.  (Fun fact: basil and mint are part of the same family of plants.)  Oh, and this little creation finally gave me the opportunity to use a gorgeous bag of pine nuts that has been waiting impatiently in my pantry for the past few months.

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to meet Nancy, a friend of one of our family’s oldest friends.  She’s been reading Bourbon & Brown Sugar from her home in Northern Michigan, where her family runs an import business.  We hit it off instantly and chatted non-stop about food and recipes.  A few weeks later, a box stuffed with dried mangos and cranberries and ginger and blueberries and cherries and figs and apricots and sun-dried tomatoes – and pine nuts from the Great Lakes International Trading Company – arrived on my porch.   If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen this colorful box of happiness.  Thanks again Nancy, you are the greatest!!

mint basil pesto 5

I’m finally diving into this culinary treasure trove, beginning with the pine nuts.  Every time I wander into my pantry, I start to contemplate all amazing baking and salads I’ll create with the rest of the stash.  So many possibilities…

mint basil pesto 4

I served the pesto over pasta the other night… alongside a grilled steak and sliced tomatoes.  This pesto would also be lovely on bruschetta or pizza or grilled veggies or roasted potatoes or on your poached egg at breakfast…   Really, during the summer, pesto should be dolloped on just about everything.

Mint pesto, check.  Any other brilliant ideas as to how else to use all this mint?

One year ago: Blackberry Scones

Two years ago: Chocolate Cake with Brown Sugar Heath Bar Frosting

4.7 from 3 reviews
Mint Basil Pesto
Serves: 2 cups
  • 1½ cups lightly packed fresh mint leaves
  • ½ cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  1. Place all the ingredients into a food processor, and pulse until a smooth paste forms.
  2. If you don't use it immediately, place it in a glass jar in the fridge, and drizzle a bit of olive oil on the top of it. It will keep for a couple of weeks.



7 Responses to "Mint Basil Pesto"
  1. Fiona says:

    Looks and no doubt tastes fantastic. Did you use raw or roasted pine nuts out of interest?

  2. This sounds so delicious!!!! xo

  3. Nancy Powell says:

    Thanks for the shout out! Dottie and I made dinner together last night, panko/Dijon/rosemary crusted rack of lamb, couscous with fresh mint and peas, fresh apricot salad and cherry cobbler (cherries are just finishing up the harvest here). I heard El Che Bar just opened to fantastic reviews! Can’t wait to try it! Happy summer cooking !

  4. Mimi says:

    What fun! I make many different pestos, but never use mint. why??? why not?!!! Beautiful photos.

  5. Ahila says:

    Bookmarked your mint and basil pesto recipe to try out. #FiestaFriday

  6. Laura says:

    Love the idea of adding mint to pesto – this looks delicious! Laura

  7. Is there really a limit to the number of blackberry mojitos a girl can have? I hope not! Love pesto and have never put mint in it. Great idea!

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