Home ยป Basil Pesto with Pine Nuts, Sunflower Seeds, and Lemon

Basil Pesto with Pine Nuts, Sunflower Seeds, and Lemon

Ah, the weekend! I had off Monday and Wednesday, so I shouldn’t be as excited as I am. But BECAUSE I had off Monday and Wednesday, I’m as excited as I am. Are you following? After pressing “publish” on my blog post on Wednesday, I hit the beach for a bit, returned home for a workout and lunch, and returned to the beach for 4 hours of afternoon sunshine and reading bliss.

Officially, I want to be a stay-at-home person. Professional book reviewer, perhaps? It was glorious!

Today, however, I’m maxed out on “mommy”. I don’t understand why “daddy” is never the name that’s called out for….{fill in the blank}. It’s always mommy. I love my children dearly, but WHEW! I maxed out on all the demands thrown on me today. Perhaps it’s because I have 2 girls, but Mark gets off the hook most days with this whole parenting thing.

But, I’m not going to complain too much. By late afternoon, we were headed to the pool following a rainy day and we were nearly the only ones there. Built in social distancing, I love it. Plus there’s nothing like the smell of fresh air following a heavy rain…that’s therapy right there.

Along with my mental health, our garden and my flowers were in dire need of some water. This week has been HOT – the air feels like bathwater, really. Our garden is absolutely loving the weather and we’re about to yield DOZENS of cucumbers in the next few weeks. I beg of you, send me your best cucumber recipes!

We also harvested our first haul of basil – it was a lot and I am not complaining! Since the freezer is officially void of all pesto reserves from last season, we were due for a pesto production. I tweaked a traditional basil pesto recipe and oh boy, it’s FAB. It uses both pine nuts and sunflower seeds, as well as lemon juice. Perfection!

Basil Pesto with Pine Nuts, Sunflower Seeds, and Lemon

Basil Pesto with Pine Nuts, Sunflower Seeds, and Lemon

Yield: 2 1/2 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Traditional pesto with a sunflower seed and lemon twist! Cuts on cost, increases flavor!


  • 4 cups (3 oz) fresh basil leaves, gently packed
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup (4 oz) freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper


  1. Pulse basil, pine nuts, and sunflower seeds in a food processor.
  2. Add garlic and cheese; pulse several times, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Stream lemon juice and olive oil into the food processor while it's running on low speed.
  4. Scrape down the sides of the food processor bowl, add the salt and pepper. Process an additional minute.
  5. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge. Use within1 week or freeze in an ice cube tray for future use.


Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 293Total Fat: 29.8gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 312mgCarbohydrates: 2.4gFiber: 1.0gSugar: 0.1gProtein: 5.5g

Did you make this recipe?

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Enjoy pesto? Who doesn’t!? Check out these pesto recipes!

Be well,

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    • Nicole Morrissey
      July 13, 2020 / 1:11 pm

      HUH! I would’ve never guessed…frozen cucumbers! Will definitely be giving a try! Thank you!!

      • Jacky
        July 13, 2020 / 1:25 pm

        That is EXACTLY what I thought the first time I made them. LOL! Also, Pimm’s cup cocktails are a refreshing way to use up cucumbers. Perfect for a hot day on the beach.

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