Poor Man's Pesto

Is your basil plant still producing in October, so randomly, like mine?  It is?  Perfect!  Let's make one last batch of "Poor Man's Pesto" (which I could just as easily call Med Student's Pesto...).   There are a million different pesto recipes out there, but this is what makes our taste buds do a happy dance.

A few pretty pictures to get us started right...
I'll be honest (because I am an honest person): This is not all basil from my plant - my farmer neighbor helped bulk up my supply. 

I ran out of garlic a couple of weeks ago.  That was a first - I nearly cried.   I put garlic in EVERYthing and don't know how to cook without it.

So are you curious why in the world do I call my pesto "Poor Man's Pesto"?  Primarily because I am waaay too cheap to buy pine nuts.  Instant, less expensive substitute?  Walnuts!

Poor Man Pesto
2 cups basil leaves, loosely packed
1-2 garlic cloves (depending on your taste buds)
1/3 cup walnuts
1/4 cup goat cheese (or cheese of your casein loving preference) 
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste (about 1/4 tsp. of each) 

In your food processor (I adore my simple Ninja), chop your nuts until fine (but not completely powder!).  Add in the basil and garlic; pulse.  Once this is all combined, add in the remaining ingredients.  If it seems too thick, add a bit of extra olive oil.  Season the pesto with salt and pepper to taste. 

And that's it!  So quick and simple.  The longest part is picking the basil leaves off the stem...but it smells so amazing that you won't even mind.  I pinkie promise.  This stuff is gold as a dip for bread or eaten straight off of a spoon, or as a sauce on pasta.


I'll be sharing this easy to make and easy on the wallet recipe with some of these fun places this week!

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  1. That looks yummy! And your pictures are oh so lovely!

    I need to get me a basil plant, cuz this seems like something I could actually make with my Z-E-R-O cooking skills. Thanks for the idea! :)

  2. mmm looks good. we don't do dairy milk either (not because of casein, but because of the pasteurization process), so this would be great for us! i have a no-cheese pesto recipe that i use, but i might just have to try this one as well. :)

    i would love for you to come link up this or any other amazing project at my creativity party going on right now!


    thanks so much for sharing!

  3. Yummy! Your pictures make it look even better! Thanks for the recipe. I would love to try this!

  4. Not only is my basil still going, but my tomato plant is finally producing red ones. In October. Huh.

    I've been meaning to try making pesto with walnuts instead of pinenuts - walnuts supposed to be super good for you, so you can call your version "healthy man" instead :)

  5. Looks tasty...I am going to try walnuts next time I make it, too! Stop by to enter my giveaway!

  6. Love pesto! Thanks for this version using walnuts. I'm going to give it a whirl!

  7. I never thought to use walnuts. Thanks for sharing!

  8. I've made pesto with walnuts before too and it really is so yummy! :-) Glad you shared this little secret with us at Inspiration Friday this week!
    P.S. Have you ever made parsley pesto? It is delicious with the walnuts too!

  9. Hmmm, love basil pesto. Daughter hates veggies, but surrenders with pasta with pesto:)

    Following your lovely blog. I am also inviting you to join Autumn Blog Hop 2011 at Momma's Lounge ( http://olahmomma.com/momlounge ) where you meet more mom bloggers; shout away; add your giveaways and/or blog and business links; and get featured by sharing your crafts, recipes and interesting musings. You can follow us back at http://olahmomma.com

    Thanks and have a great day!

  10. I will have to try this, I love pesto but have been inhibited by the cost of pine nuts also.


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