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A simple twist on the pesto recipe.

By Marta Blaszczyk

Hazelnut Pesto

A simple twist on the pesto recipe.

  • Takes 3 minutes to make!
  • Uses hazelnuts rather than pine nuts.
  • This recipe makes a generous amount of pesto.
  • Serve with pasta or use in sauces.


  Roasted Hazelnuts 125g, Organic (Infinity Foods)
100g of roasted hazelnuts. Pesto is, of course, usually based on pine nuts, but hazelnuts are a more affordable alternative, and the taste is still good!

  Chopped [Minced] Basil, Organic 135g (Kitchen Garden)
1 jar of minced basil. This is a handy jar with many uses - it's good for use in pasta sauces, on pizzas etc. Of course, you can also opt for fresh basil with a twist of lemon juice.

1 clove of garlic, or half a teaspoonful of garlic paste.

  Pepper and Peppercorns
A sprinkle of black pepper powder, or crushed whole peppercorns.

  Olive Oil
A drizzle of olive oil to help loosen the mixture and allow it to be blended more easily.


  1. Grind the nuts and the garlic in a coffee grinder or blender, aiming for a finely-ground consistency.
  2. Transfer to a bowl.
  3. Add the basil and a drizzle of olive oil, and mix all of the ingredients thoroughly.
  4. Add a sprinkle of black pepper powder to taste.
  5. Give the ingredients one final mix.
  6. Serve. This pesto tastes good on its own with pasta, and can also be stirred into pasta sauces or into pasta salads.

Other thoughts

  • One of the main motivations for this recipe is the high price of pine nuts. This alternative uses a generous helping of roasted hazelnuts, and in our opinion has all of the flavour for a fraction of the price of a recipe that uses pine nuts.
  • The basil that we used was the preserved basil (jar). A normal pesto recipe would use fresh basil and a dash of lemon juice, but in this case, the lemon juice is not needed because the preserved basil is slightly acidic. So the pickledness works in our favour.
  • Most pesto recipes incorporate Parmesan cheese. You can add this if you like, but we feel that it tastes just as good without it!

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