Thai basil pesto

by Tanya

Weekend prior, I had made a pitcher of delicious Thai basil sangria for a gathering I co-hosted. (The drink was a hit and disappeared within the hour, thank you Food & Wine!) I found myself with still quite a bit of left over basil, as well as a bunch of fresh mint that was left from a yogurt-mint sauce I prepared for lamb kabobs. (More on those at another point; I discovered the lamb mix also makes for an excellent meatloaf, while the mint-yogurt sauce serves as a fantastic marinade for chicken).

So, with all those fresh herbs, I made a pesto. The recipe is a combination of several different recipes I found online. A lot of the pesto recipes using the more spicy Thai basil also called for the addition of fish sauce; generally, I love the phish sauce – especially in a bowl of vermicelli noodles at a phở joint – but I wanted to keep the recipe as simple and vegan friendly as possible. Myself, I’m an omnivore, but I like to try and make sure that I can prepare at least a few good things that would be absolutely OK to serve to some of my vegan friends.

Thai Basil Pesto


  • 1 and 1/2 cup fresh Thai basil leaves
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves (it adds… something extra, I don’t know what it is!)
  • 1/3 cup blanched almonds (but you could use other nuts you like, maybe pine nuts or peanuts?)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp agave syrup
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (or a little more to help with blending & if you like less chunky texture)
  • 1/2 tbsp rice wine viegar
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper or chili flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste

Put all the ingredients in a food processor and chop’n’grind. That’s it. Keep refrigerated.

Things you can do with the pesto: EVERYTHING. It’s so nomnom delicious. So far, I’ve had it on chicken, on a pesto and cheese sandwich, and this morning with some poached eggs & Hollandaise on an English muffin. Let me know how you like it!