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Fresh herbs are so much more than a garnish! They are packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Using the entire bunch and making it into a fragrant pesto makes these herbs last longer and can be incorporated into any number of dishes, including salad dressings or adding it to a marinade. Sometimes I choose to use a traditional mortar and pestle to make pesto, there's something comforting about making this without any gadgets or machinery. But of course, using a blender, herb chopper, or food processor easily works (and is much quicker too!)


3 cups fresh basil, cilantro, spinach or kale

1-3 stems garlic scapes, or regular garlic cloves

1/4 cup blanched slivered almonds or sunflower seeds, optional

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste

1/2 - 1 lime, juiced or 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp nutritional yeast

Optional: For a little spice, add 1 serrano or Jalapeño chile



  • Coarsely chop the garlic scapes. Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil in a small frying pan. Gently sauté the garlic for 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Transfer into the mortar.

  • Add the sea salt and pound into a paste. Coarsely chop the cilantro and pound again into a paste You may need to do this in batches, if necessary.

  • Add the slivered almonds and pound again, breaking up the pieces until incorporated.

  • Gradually add the remaining olive oil while pounding again until smooth.

  • Finally, add the lime juice and season to taste.

  • Serve with fresh greenmarket sugar snap peas and radishes


  • Blend all the ingredients together into a smooth paste. Add more olive oil if you prefer a runnier consistency.

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