Sunflower & Pumpkin Seed Basil Pesto

January 28, 2011

Author Notes: With food allergies in our home I wanted to create a pesto that didn't use the traditional pine nut. I was concerned that this might result in a bland mess. I decided to forgo the food processor this time, creating a beautiful Genovese style pesto that has the addition of sunflower and pumpkin seeds. The seeds add a light nutty flavor as well as a complimentary texture to the basil which excites the palate.gfreekitchen

Makes: approx. 1 c.


  • 4-6 ounces basil, leaves only
  • 4 medium cloves, garlic
  • handfuls roasted sunflower seeds, unsalted
  • handfuls roasted pumpkin seeds
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 4-5 tablespoons olive oil
In This Recipe


  1. Start chopping a handful of basil with the garlic. I prefer to use my chef's knife but some prefer to use a mezzaluna for this task. When the basil and the garlic are coarsely chopped add in another bunch of basil as well as the sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Continue chopping, until all ingredients are finely incorporated.
  2. Transfer basil mixture to a small bowl and drizzle 4-5 Tbsp. of olive oil over the top. Mix lightly before using.

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