Fresh Herb Pesto

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Yield : 1 1/2 cups Prep Time : Cook Time : Ready In :

fresh herb pesto

No cheese, no nuts, just fresh herb flavor that goes on everything!

Really, everything.

Fresh Herb Pesto


  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 anchovy fillets, packed in oil, drained
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 1 - 2 Serrano peppers, seeded if desired, sliced ( remember to check your heat factor before you add them)
  • 2 bunches of Italian parsley, cleaned and trimmed, some stems are fine
  • 2 bunches of cilantro, cleaned and trimmed, some stems are fine
  • 1/8 cup fresh lemon juice, or to taste
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup of a good fruity extra virgin olive oil
  • Dash of salt and pepper, to taste


Step 1

If making in a food processor

Place the garlic, mustard, anchovies, capers and peppers into the work bowl, puree until smooth.

Add the parsley, cilantro and lemon juice, puree while slowly adding the olive oil through the chute. Process until smooth.

Step 2

If using a handy dandy Kitchenaid or other Blender

Place all of the ingredients into the blender in the order listed. Turn on the blender to a low speed, using an taper, tap the greens into the blades as you slowly turn the speed up to medium. Process until smooth.

The making of Fresh Herb Pesto


Fresh Herb Pesto


The summer months are perfect for dishes that call for a fresh herb pesto.  After all, we have gardens full of them,  our farmer’s markets and even our local grocery stores are full of fresh herbs.

Almost all fresh herb pestos have cheese in them.  And nuts.  But I wanted a different, fresher flavor.  So I thought I would make one without nuts, or cheese.

While mulling this recipe over in my mind, I did my usual online and cookbook research.  Almost every recipe for a pesto or salsa verde that did not use cheese or nuts seemed to have an extra dose of oil.  I didn’t think this pesto needed all that oil (nor did my waist and hips) so I used about half.

Guess what?

It turned out great!

This Fresh Herb Pesto really delivers on flavor.  And I loved the vibrant green color.  It screams summer!

And freshness.

It goes on everything.  Really, everything.  I served it first with some slow-braised pork that we pulled and put into corn tortillas with just this pesto on top and a bit of cabbage for crunch, fabulous!

The next day I mixed a little into some leftover Farro Salad.  Yum.

Its final hurrah was on some grilled Lamb Chops.  YES!


Grilled Lamb Chops with Fresh Herb Pesto

Grilled Lamb Chops with Fresh Herb Pesto


You could add a little pasta cooking water and put it on your pasta, roast some potatoes and then toss them with this pesto.  A dollop on fish would be delightful.

You might be hesitant to use the anchovy, but please do.  It adds such a great depth of flavor.  And you know me, I’m all about depth of flavor.

The Serrano adds just a perfect amount of heat.  So if you like it hotter, add a bit more.  Not so hot?  Remove the seeds and start with half as much.

Taste and adjust.  Taste and adjust.

I would allow this pesto to sit at room temperature for at least an hour before serving.  If you want to hold it longer, put a light layer of olive oil over the top, to retain its green color, and then cover and refrigerate for up to three days.  Bring it to room temperature before serving.

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