Summer Recipes

Basil ‘Genovese Giant’

This time of year I have more basil than I know what to do with. And who doesn’t love pesto? This time I decided to make a batch that could also be consumed by the vegans in our family.

Vegan Basil Pesto

Makes approximately 300 grams
109 Calories per tablespoon (15 grams)

I substituted miso paste for the traditional Parmesan cheese. You can use either red or white miso, whichever is your preference. If you like your pesto saltier, add a little more miso to taste.


  • 2 tightly packed handfuls of fresh basil leaves (about 70 grams)
  • 3 large cloves of garlic
  • ½ cup pine nuts (70 grams)
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons miso paste


Throw everything except for the olive oil into a food processor and blend thoroughly. Then with the machine still running, gradually add the olive oil until the required consistency is reached.


If you like your basil chunkier, I’d suggest making it the conventional way, using a pestle and mortar.

Pesto can be kept in the fridge for several weeks. Spoon it into a decent-sized jar and pour on a thin film of olive oil. This will prevent the top discolouring – you can just stir it in each time you use it. It’s pretty yummy though… can’t see my batch lasting long.

You can also freeze small portions of pesto in an ice-cube tray then keep free-flow in your freezer for those winter months when you don’t have the luxury of fresh basil in your garden. It’s great with pasta, or as an addition to just about anything. 🙂


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