Pesto and other Basil Tricks

by Susan on August 27, 2010

Walnut Basil Pesto “Cream” Sauce with Veggies

Traditional pesto is made from basil, pine nuts, olive oil, garlic and Parmesan cheese. We can still use the basil, olive oil and garlic, but since pine nuts have become insanely expensive lately, and Parmesan cheese doesn’t fit the bill for a raw food recipe, I decided to take a stab at Walnut Pesto! As you know, Walnuts are packed with nutrition. And pesto is just yummy. You can serve this over veggie noodles, spoon it on tomatoes, turn it into a dip, put it on your raw pizza’s, and incorporate it in many other raw food recipes.

In today’s post you will find 3 raw food recipes! One for Basil Walnut Pesto, one for Basil Walnut Pesto “Cream” and finally a great way to use that Basil Walnut Pesto Cream over zucchini noodles and veggies! There are also some tips for freezing basil after the recipes!

Pesto is bursting with the flavor of basil and garlic. It freezes well and can quickly convert the simplest veggies into a great meal that is bursting with flavor. It is a great way to use and store your basil. You can find another delicious raw food recipe for pumpkin seed pesto here: Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Walnut Basil Pesto

  • 2 cup basil leaves, packed
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • squeeze of lemon juice

1. With food processor running, drop in two cloves of garlic.

2. Stop machine and add basil and walnuts. Pulse until well chopped.

3. Add olive oil and lemon juice and pulse until well combined.

* Makes 1 1/2 cup pesto.

Chef’s note: I love garlic and have loaded this pesto with it. You can definitely cut back if you wish. To Freeze, place in ice cube trays, freeze then move to storage container and keep in freezer.

Walnut Basil Pesto “Cream” Sauce

  • 1 cup cashews
  • 3/4 cup filtered water
  • 5 tablespoons Basil Walnut Pesto, divided

1. Soak cashews for about 3 hours to soften.

2. In high-speed blender, blend cashews, and water until smooth.

3. Add 2 tablespoons of the Basil Walnut Pesto and blend well.

3. Remove to bowl and stir in 3 more tablespoons of the basil-walnut pesto.

*Makes 1 cup of sauce.

Basil Walnut Pesto “Cream” with Veggies

  • 1 cup Basil Walnut Pesto “Cream”
  • 2 medium zucchinis
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, optional

1. Put the zucchini through the spiralizer to make noodles.

2. Toss together zucchini noodles, tomatoes, mushrooms and 1/2 to 1 cup of the Basil Walnut Pesto Sauce.

3. Top with pine nuts and serve.


Freezing Basil

There are a few ways you can freeze basil.

1. Chop fine, toss with a little olive oil to coat and freeze.

2. Add chopped basil to an ice cube tray filled with water. Add 1 tsp. to each space filled with the water. Freeze the basil into ice cubes. Melt the cubes when needed.

3. Process the basil in your food processor with enough oil to make a paste. Freeze the paste.

4. Place basil leaves on a cookie sheet and place in freezer. Once they are completely frozen, place in containers.

Note: I have had the best results with methods one and two.

Print Friendly

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Veggie Girl is Living Rawesome August 27, 2010 at 1:36 pm

You’re work is off the charts. Thank you for this marvelous blessing of love and dedication to improving our choices in recipes:)


Dot D. August 27, 2010 at 2:15 pm

I am awed at all you know about food prep. When is the RAW FOOD MEALS book coming out? :)


Lisa C. August 27, 2010 at 4:38 pm

This looks incredible Susan! I’m going to try it next week. Thanks!


Andrea August 27, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Looks absolutely delicious! I must try this recipe soon.


Pure2raw twins August 27, 2010 at 5:39 pm

This looks amazing!!! We just love basil pesto : )


ame August 27, 2010 at 6:56 pm

I just started making some raw foods. We had a special family weekend and I made zucchini noodles with raw spagghetti sauce and pesto too. They loved it. AS a result my cousin found your blog and forwarded it to me. How is that for being supported in ones interests. I will try this recipe this week. I’m excited to read more. Ame


Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty August 28, 2010 at 9:15 am

I LOVE pesto… these are a must try!! I love the idea of a creamy pesto!! Mmmmmmmm


Faith Lubitz August 28, 2010 at 12:29 pm

Thanks for these, I have also seen some recipes for cilantro pesto…helps the body get rid of heavy metals, plus it tastes great!


Diana @ frontyardfoodie August 28, 2010 at 8:43 pm

I LOVE basil. I LOVE pesto. My husband is really allergic to nuts so I use raw sunflower seeds. It works great!


Susan August 28, 2010 at 8:45 pm

There is a great recipe on the site that I did last summer for pumpkin seed pesto!


Roxanne August 29, 2010 at 12:16 pm

Hi Susan,

I have to confess, I’m a vicarious food preparer. I am enjoying paging thru your Rawmazing Dessert book. It’s a scrumptious book.

But I’m having a very hard time finding a 6-inch spring-form pan to prepare the ORANGE CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE for my sister retreat on September 10.

Dang it! I tried Cooks,Williams Sonoma,Kitchen Window,Macy, only to find one local store at Mall of America that was sold out of 6″ spring-form pans. Because my time is short, I need to buy one online but I am finding them to be of different heights.

Will you please direct me to the proper 6″ spring-form pan that I can purchase online? I am getting nervous because I want to impress my sisters with a raw food lunch.

I plan to spiralize a bunch of zuchinni for my 5 sisters. I found a raw Alfredo sauce online for the noodles. I’m not sure how it will taste. I’m scared of disappointing my sisters first raw food meal experience.

Do you have a recommendation for a sauce on zuchinni noodles? I trust your taste buds.
Thank you so much for your help! I’m getting nervous about September 10…

Please help me to impress my sister’s taste buds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Susan August 29, 2010 at 12:31 pm

Since you are local, you can get one at Cooks either in St. Paul or Edina. A quick search on google… 6″ Spring Form Pans came up with at least 25 places, including amazon that you can order from. :-) 3″ tall is fine.


Roxanne August 29, 2010 at 12:56 pm

Thank you,Susan. Cooks does not carry 6″ pans. But your advice on the 3″ height is very helpful.

My other question is this:

If you were to prepare a lunch for 6 people:

Which recipes on your site would you prepare? Seriously, I know I could choose myself, but the reason I am on your site is for direction. You are a very busy woman, and I respect that.

In the next week or so could you please give me a fool-proof lunch menu from your website?
Thank you!


Veronica (Pure Bar) August 31, 2010 at 3:05 pm

I love raw pesto! Love the idea of walnuts in raw pesto even more. Thanks for this terrific recipe!


Roxanne September 1, 2010 at 8:17 pm

Oops! Sorry I didn’t read your post/recipe more closely before I posted. This Basil Walnut Pesto Creme will be PERFECT for the zuchinni noodles I’m going to wind up in the spiralizer for a lunch. I’ll just make some of your Tomatoe Flat Bread for the lunch also.(I love how you have it photographed with Fall leaves tucked into the bowl). And the Orange Chocolate Cheesecake for dessert. I hope they will like the combo. If not, I’ll eat it ALL.


Gardening October 14, 2010 at 11:36 pm

Thanks. I am always looking for ways to better grow or better prepare the food from my garden. Eating healthier has really helped me keep my waistline in check.


Laurie January 11, 2011 at 12:22 pm

OMG, these look wonderful. Just got a bunch of walnuts and have been looking for something to make. BINGO, this is it.


Heather March 8, 2011 at 11:59 am

If you put the “noodles” in hot water for a sec just to warm it up, will it still be considered raw? Your website makes me so hungry. :)


Rebecca Burke August 14, 2011 at 10:59 am

I made this last night. It was absolutely fantastic. I have leftovers and cannot wait to dig into it for lunch. I am so excited. This is my first say on my raw journey. It is a VERY good beginning.



S August 9, 2012 at 5:36 pm

If only all raw food recipes were this good! This is seriously amazing.


Christine January 27, 2013 at 8:27 am

I love this recipe. To add a hint of that cheesy flavor I add nutritional yeast and it really compliments the recipe. Thank you.


Student February 19, 2013 at 7:48 am

This an amazing recipe, thankyou! But I was wondering what sort of wine would be nice with it?


Geo July 3, 2013 at 10:27 pm

Hi, I tried your pesto Sauce tonight for dinner. I did not have walnuts but, I had Raw Pine nuts! I put it over freshly grated Carrots. This was the best ever! I am new at eating raw I love all you have done on the RawMazing web site. I hope to try many more recipes after I start buying more ingredients. Are there mail order catalogs for some of the Coconut items? Thanks for all your help


Cynthia September 25, 2013 at 2:28 am

I am vegan and new to raw. Problem is I can’t stand even looking at zucchini sliced open, never mind making noodles with it and eating it! I have read about making noodles with a type of seaweed. Do you know what kind, do you have any experience using it? Do you have any other suggestions for making noodles?


Leave a Comment

{ 4 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: