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purple basil pesto: a lighter version of the classic

Posted on May 8th, 2012  |  5 Comments

To be inspired is to be aroused; to feel a sudden burst of animated influence and be filled with thought.

What inspires you?

More and more I am finding inspiration, arousal, and overflowing thought, in the most unusual places. A stairwell, sidewalks, the ladies restroom, to name a few. Typically uninspiring places like this are where I like to conjure up recipes, bust out a few push-ups and see the perfect color combination for food styling.

Those are the places inspiration comes up and smacks me on the face without the slightest warning.

But my go-to inspiration spot, where most of The Talking Kitchen’s recipes derive, is hands down the Farmers Market. Ok, fine, really any place with food – real, pictures or smell-0-vision works for me – but my favorite is the market.

Enter purple basil.

Exit pesto.

But not just any purple basil pesto, this one’s got special black pepper cheese that blends oh so well with lightly toasted pine nuts, I might never use Parmesan or Pecorino again!

Maybe I lie, maybe not. :)

This seemingly fancy, always expensive, no-cook sauce, is beyond easy to make and turns out smashingly spectacular every time.

Convinced to slide into the pesto pool yet?

Take a bite with your eyes first.

Yum that was good.

Don’t take a bite of the next one though, there’s raw meat and plastic in there.

This one should taste good. With or without the chicken.

Not gonna lie, this was the best pesto I’ve ever had. And with skimping on the oil and cheese a bit, I made a lighter version without sacrificing flavor.

‘Cause really, why would I want to do that?

Seriously, what are you waiting for?

Make purple pesto now!

Also, enjoy your Tuesday.


Tell me what inspires you!

purple basil pesto

adapted from Food Network

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes


Ingredients (1 cup- makes enough to coat 1 lb. pasta)


If serving with pasta, start boiling the water, then make the pesto.

Toss the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until minced.

Add the oil, cheese and salt and process until everything is fully incorporated.

Enjoy now or..

If planning to save some to freeze, skip the cheese on the previous step, remove the pesto from the processor and only add cheese to the portion you plan on eating relatively soon (i.e. not freezing.. {note} do not freeze with cheese mixed in)

Serve with whole wheat pasta (this made just the right amount for 1 lb. pasta), smeared on a sandwich, over meatballs, in hummus or rolled up in chicken.. just to name a few.

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5 Responses

  1. myfudo says:

    My daughter’s laughter…inspires the whole of me, anytime, everytime. Our bonding times in the kitchen wearing our identical aprons, whipping up treats that we enjoy eating anyways whatever the outcome, another inspiration. This is a really delicious dish I’d love to try. Love the presentation too!

  2. kiki says:

    This turned out beautifully for me. :)

  3. Barb says:

    Why should you not freeze pesto if it has cheese in it? I’ve always frozen it that way before.

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