Elevated Pesto: An Ode to Summer’s Most Versatile Sauce


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Infused Pesto Recipe by Laurie + MaryJane

Freshly made pesto is one of summer’s gifts. This beautiful, nutrient-dense and versatile sauce is easy to make and only requires a handful of easily accessible ingredients. Around here, we use it on pasta, sandwiches, chicken or fish, as well as part of this sporty composed salad. Making the bicycle is up to you; however, I think that you are never too old to stop playing with your food. I never have, and I never will. Make the bicycle, be-spoked.

This pesto is made with toasted walnuts, as the traditional pine nuts have gotten way too expensive for my budget. I always toast nuts before using; it brings out the flavor and makes the nuts crunchier. The basil can be substituted with arugula or kale, I’d still go with the toasted walnuts*.


Yields 1 cup


2 c. fresh basil leaves, rinsed and patted dry

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/3 c. toasted walnuts*

½ c. extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp. canna-infused oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1/3 c. freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese


  1. In the bowl of a food processor combine the basil, garlic and walnuts and pulse till coarsely chopped.
  2. Drizzle in ½ cup of the olive oil while the machine is running. Add salt and pepper to taste and drizzle in the remaining oil. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the cheese.

* To toast walnuts place them on a baking sheet with sides.  In a 325°F oven, bake the nuts for 5-10 minutes, until they smell toasted and are a shade darker.

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