Lemon-Thyme Basil Pesto

by Chrissy

I’d like to think that we have a “no basil left behind” motto in our kitchen.

You see, one time last year, we went to TJ’s to grab a few key ingredients for a dinner that we were preparing later that night; there was none to be found. Organic and non-organic basil were both MIA. Obviously, they just had not been restocked, yet.

Obviously not. Let the panic begin. There is simply no suitable substitute for fresh basil. It’s in a league of it’s own.

We went to the next grocery store. Found nothing. The knowledgeable TJ’s employee was right, the basil crop drought had left many stores in it’s wake, and thus short-stocked on basil.

Thank goodness we are in no such drought, these days.

All that to say, Lauren had whipped up a delicious fresh Caprese Frittata over the weekend (recipe coming soon), and there was still quite a heavy supply of basil in the fridge. After going through the uncertainties that the Basil Drought of 2011 evoked (<–might have made that up), wasting basil simply isn’t an option anymore.

What to do? Throw it all in the food processor and make some zesty pesto!


Here’s how (don’t blink, you might miss a step!):

Throw everything in the food processor and pulse the mixture together, while streaming in the olive oil.

Continue until desired texture (about 1 minute of pulsing), scraping down the sides, if needed.

And there you have it, friends, PESTO!

You can serve this tasty pesto over some pasta, or use as a marinade for vegetables or chicken.

We used it over spaghetti, grilled squash, wilted spinach and chicken parmesan sausage. It was quite a delicious meal and it was ready in no time!

Lemon-Thyme Basil Pesto

Makes about 1 1/2 cups


4 cups basil leaves

2 Tbsp lemon juice

3 Tbsp fresh thyme

½ cup toasted almonds, chopped

4 big cloves garlic, sliced

½ tsp pepper

½ tsp salt

¾ cup olive oil

¾ cup parmesean cheese




Place everything in the food processor and pulse the mixture together, while streaming in the olive oil. Continue until desired texture (about 1 minute of pulsing). scraping down the sides if needed.

Serve with pasta or use as a marinade on vegetables or chicken, or use as a spread on a sandwich.


From the Little Yellow Kitchen,


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9 Responses to “Lemon-Thyme Basil Pesto”

  1. A life without basil is really hard to imagine! I’m glad 2012 seems to be a better year for the crop. I love the addtion of lemon and thyme to this pesto, makes it sound so summery and fresh.

  2. Pesto is definitely a miracle sauce…I could dip things in it, spread it all over a sandwich, pour it over pasta…great recipe! Your pasta with squash looks fantastic!

  3. This I have got to try, it sounds fantastic. I have some thyme growing in pots right now and the lemon adds a nice kick. Very nice.

  4. Chrissy

    Thanks, Suzi! This pesto is bright and fresh with the lemon and thyme. You can always add more thyme, if preferred, but we liked it with just a hint! I can’t wait to go round two with gnocchi.

  5. Homemade pesto is the best. This is so beautiful. I’m hungry for pasta and pesto now!

  6. I love pesto and the lemon is a great addition! I wish that I had that plate of pasta right now.

  7. Chrissy

    Thanks, Dori. The bright flavors in this pesto make for a tasty meal :)

  8. Chrissy

    Totally agree! Pesto is one of life’s great offerings.

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