We made this pesto last week for the first time for our Smoky Chipotle Butternut Apple Soup.  Love it so much, that I decided to serve it for Thanksgiving over roasted cauliflower steaks. It was gorgeous!  This pesto is a chunkier pesto, not smooth like you may think of pestos. It’s good this way because you really get a bite of hazelnut which is a nice addition to a soup, sauce or roasted vegetable that’s on the more tender side.

i can think of a hundred ways to use this pesto. Once you’ve made it, maybe you’ll think of some as well.  I’m thinking pasta, in a wrap or sandwich, a topping for roasted sweet potatoes, a garnish for a soft brie on toasted artisan bread, on grilled or roasted chicken, over skewered vegetables, over basmati rice, a colorful topping for grilled squash and for you bakers — maybe baking it into bread. Just to mention a few ideas!

On our first round of this pesto, we made it without cheese. For the roasted cauliflower steaks I made for Thanksgiving, I added a 1/2 cup of asiago cheese – which was great.  So I’ve included this as an optional ingredient

Makes approximately 1-1/2 cups

  • 1 C fresh, organic Italian parsley
  • 2 C fresh, organic arugula
  • 1/3 C fresh, organic sage
  • 4 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
  • 2-1/2 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1 T fresh organic lemon zest
  • 2 T good balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 C roasted unsalted hazelnuts
  • 1/2 C extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 T kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 C asiago (optional)

In a food processor, add parsley, arugula, sage, garlic, lemon juice and zest, vinegar, honey and hazelnuts.  Pulse until well incorporated and nuts are significantly chopped.  You still want to stay on the chunkier side with this pesto, so don’t pulse too much. Transfer all ingredients to a bowl and stir in olive oil, salt and chili flakes. Refrigerated, pesto will last for 4-5 days.