Basil & Lime Pesto: Quick and Saucy

Could you get me some basil, please? Antoine came back from the market with not just a few leaves but two huge plants of my favourite herb. There was only one thing for it; while it was so fragrant and fresh, I needed something that was quick to make: PESTO and pronto!


Only one problem: as I was finishing up stocks in the fridge before going on holiday, I had run out of fresh parmesan (and also the traditional pecorino) cheese.  So, the cheese was simply replaced with more toasted nuts and the juice of a lime.  Hey pesto, this could be adapted to add to all sorts of sauces at the last minute. It’s a great flavour enhancer to add to all kinds of dishes – even Thai rice noodles.  Adapt it to your own taste, using cashews or walnuts instead of pine nuts; add a red or green chili for some heat; use coriander instead of basil…

What’s more, the sauce freezes well.  As it’s oily, it won’t be a complete solid mass when frozen so you can use the amount needed without having to defrost a whole jar.

Hey pesto!

Basil and Lime Pesto

For 2 jam jars

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

2 basil plants, leaves only
2 garlic cloves, peeled and inside core removed
60g toasted pine nuts (or cashew)
1 untreated lime, zest and juice
140ml olive oil

Throw all the ingredients in a blender, adding the olive oil gradually while mixing.  Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

13 replies
  1. parisbreakfast
    parisbreakfast says:

    Looks Gorge…but if you don’t have a basil plant what then? they sell it in little bunches over here..
    many bunches required I guess?
    Love the lime addition
    And I KNOW I can use up some Almond meal on this baby!!
    merci carolg

    • Jill
      Jill says:

      They also sell them in bunches here just like yours. Just do the same although the almond meal, I would strongly suggest using whole nuts previously toasted and grinding them down with the basil. It’s so much more tasty.

  2. elisabeth@foodandthriftfinds
    [email protected] says:

    Gosh, Jill-I didn’t realize you also have an alternate recipe index. My lord!!! such fabulous tips, and amazing recipes. Love the croquettes…a must try! I remember in the seventies, they were referred to a “cone shape” thingies…LOL they looked like space creatures! If you didn’t form it into a cone shape, it was not a croquette…so silly!
    Love the herb-panko crust topping for the fish. I’m bookmarking the entire page, to copy and print out for future info!…Thank you for sharing:DDD
    Also, I will ad this site as well to my blogroll, and upload your book to my blog, as well.

  3. Kelly
    Kelly says:

    Oh wow Jill, this basil lime pesto sounds incredible!! Basil is definitely one of my favorite herbs and this would be perfect with some pasta! 🙂



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