Want pesto? Make pesto. (Confession: no baking involved.)

Recipe by me.

1 bunch basil
4–5 large cloves of garlic
1 big chunk of dry/crumbly cheese*
Handful of walnuts**
4 lemons or limes (juice only)
1 tsp honey
Olive oil
Salt and pepper


  1. Pull the leaves off the basil, cut the garlic into large chunks, grate the cheese and break/chop the walnuts into large chunks. Put the whole lot in your blender/food processor/stick-blender attachment.
  2. Add the lime or lemon juice, honey, plenty of salt and pepper, and a good slug of olive oil — enough to get the blender going.
  3. Whiz it all together, starting on slow speed. Stop every now and then and add more oil/salt/pepper as needed to get the right consistency and seasoning (according to you)***. For example:

    (No vampires here.)
  4. Transfer into clean, airtight jars or containers and store in the fridge. I got this much:


As with anything garlicky, this stuff is better the next day. Serve as a dip with crackers. Or on toast with poached eggs and/or avocado and sriracha. Or mixed through a big bowl of pasta (penne or pappardelle = best)…

*Half what you see in that first photo — about a handful when grated. I used smoked cheddar because hello, SMOKED CHEDDAR. But any dry cheddar or good pecorino/parmesan will do the trick.
**I’ve also made this with almonds, pine nuts and macadamia nuts. (Not all together. But I guess that would work.)
***If you go too far with the olive oil, some more nuts and/or cheese will thicken it up again. (To an extent.)

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