Recipe of the Week: Zesty Almond Basil Pesto

Recipe of the Week: Zesty Almond Basil Pesto

Posted by May Simpkin | 14 February 2017 | Food & Drink

‘Get Zesty’ this valentine’s day and surprise your partner with this delicious homemade basil and almond pesto! Pair it with pasta or as a topping for fish for a quick and easy supper that’s guaranteed to impress. Instead of the traditional pine nuts, this recipe uses almonds as a base, providing plenty of protein and a good source of Vitamin E; a winner all round!


To make this Zesty Almond Basil Pesto you’ll need…

  • 100g Parmesan, grated
  • 100g Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 80g Basil
  • 50g Almonds, ground
  • 6 large cloves Garlic
  • Juice of half a Lemon
  • Salt & Pepper


Put the basil and garlic in a food processor and blend until well ground. Add the ground almonds, olive oil and lemon juice and pulse a few times until well combined. Check seasoning.


  • Ideally you will be using a powerful blender such as a Thermomix or Nutribullet, to make sure that you have an evenly ground pesto
  • Take care with seasoning as the parmesan is already salty
  • I like to make up a batch and leave it in the fridge. This pesto will keep in the fridge for up to 10 days; the parmesan, lemon and olive oil act as a preservative and keep it fresher for longer
  • For a more zesty pesto, use more lemon juice; ideal with fish or pasta
  • You can vary the nuts; any nut will work well as long as it is finely ground
  • You can also vary the herb; parsley, rocket or watercress work particularly well

This Pesto is SO versatile:

Simply add as a topping to a white fish or Salmon fillet and bake in the oven

Mix in with some roasted vegetables and quinoa/pasta

Add a spoonful to a soup when serving

Use as a stuffing for Butternut Squash or Marrow; scoop out middle and spoon in the pesto. Bake in the oven until soft

Nutritional Nugget:

Garlic belongs to the “Allium” family and is closely related to onions, shallots and leeks. It’s use and health benefits have been long documented across many civilisations. The active ingredient, Allicin, responsible for it’s health benefits is released when raw garlic is crushed, chopped or chewed and this gives garlic it’s distinctive smell. Cooking garlic is thought to reduce these health benefits, which include lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart disease. There is some evidence to support these suggestions but further research is needed. CLICK HERE for a review of the evidence.

May Simpkin is a BANT registered Nutritional Therapist with a Masters Science degree in Personalised Nutrition. She is an experienced clinician and Head of Wellbeing at Grace Belgravia, London., as well as Chair of the Continual Professional Committee at BANT, the British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy . She is also registered with IFM, The Institute for Functional Medicine and a member of the RSM, The Royal Society of Medicine.

For more recipes visit:

Instagram: @maysimpkinnutrition 
Twitter @MaySimpkin

About The Author

May Simpkin

Qualified nutritionist May is passionate about the benefits of a healthy diet and lifestyle. Her no-nonsense approach focuses on realistic, practical and achievable advice to improve health and wellbeing.

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