We grow rows and rows of basil and this time of year, the basil bushes stand 4 feet tall (or taller). I start making pesto and pistous in mid-August through mid September, preserve them for soups, sauces, vinaigrettes, salads, marinades, spreads for sandwiches or adding to a charcuterie board– you name it. It’s one of our favorite herbs and pesto is one of our favorite ways of utilizing the summer herbaceous-ness. As it stands, this no-cook salad is incredibly flavorful because of the amazing pesto. AND the salad is so simple to make. Adding other elements, as we’ve suggested in the Cook’s Notes, can transform this salad from a simple side dish. to a center of the plate dish. Marinated grilled chicken or vegetables such as grilled squash or bell peppers would be an excellent addition.


Makes 4 -6 servings


  • 1/4 C pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 C fresh organic basil leaves
  • 1 C fresh organic Italian parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1 C extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 C freshly grated pecorino or parmesan or asiago
  • salt and pepper to taste

To your blender, add pine nuts, basil leaves, parsley, fresh garlic, lemon zest and juice. Drizzle the olive oil as you’re blending. Once smooth and well incorporated, add the cheese and blend again. If it’s too thick, you can add small amounts of olive oil or water – one teaspoon at a time until you reach desired consistency. Salt and pepper to your liking. Please note: Not much salt is necessary if adding the cheese.


  • 2 cans organic cannellini beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1  oz jar marinated artichokes (TJ’s has a good jar), cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/2 C red onion, small dice
  • 1/2 C Organic Basil Pesto (or more if you like)
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice (or more if so desired)
  • 1/3 C small basil leaves
  • Handful of fresh green beans, cooked, chilled and cut into bite size lengths
  • Toasted pine nuts and lemon wedge for garnish

In a medium size mixing bowl, add beans, artichokes, red onion, pesto and fresh lemon juice. Toss to coat beans well.  Transfer to a nice serving platter. Add green beans (you can toss them in with the beans so they get coated with the pesto if so desired). Garnish with basil leaves, pine nuts and lemon wedges. Refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight before serving — it gets better with time!


  • If you want to make the salad vegan, simply use a basil pistou in place of the pesto. Same amounts.
  • If you want to make this nut-free, simply omit the pine nuts from your home made pesto.
  • For another pop of color, a small dice of fresh red bell pepper or roasted red pepper can be added
  • Marinated grilled chicken would be a great addition to the salad, making it more of an entree salad. Diced would be a good format.
  • Grilled squash, seasoned, diced and tossed in with pesto beans would be lovely.