Candied pesto


This is not a pesto recipe. This is a pesto conservation recipe. Dear Italian readers please ignore this post. I know your pesto is sacred and what is going to happen to it in this recipe is outrageous. For the rest of the readers,  this is a great way to keep pesto fresh and vibrant green after the day of its fabrication. It is a chef that gave me the recipe when I complained that the pesto I kept in jars with olive oil turned black and became “bitter” after a few hours of its preparation.

This is my recipe of basil pesto, it is not traditional and it is not authentic because theres is garlic in it, but I like it very much and like the French say “des goûts et des couleurs, on ne discute pas”.


  • a large bunch of basil leaves
  • 2-4 cloves of garlic (optional)
  • 50 gr of pine nuts
  • 100 gr of freshly grated parmesan cheese (it can be replaced by any type of hard yellow cheese such as pecorino, gruyere etc
  • 2 tbsp of extra virgin Greek olive oil
  • salt


  • Pick the basil leaves from the stems.
  • Crash the garlic cloves.
  • Put all the ingredients in a chopping robot and mix until you reach the desirable consistency. I enjoy pesto with small bits so I stop mixing after a few seconds.
  • Your pesto will be quite dry at this point.
  • Put a generous tablespoon of  this mixture in a small piece of plastic wrap and fold it.
  • When all the pesto candies are ready put them in the freezer.
  • Use your portioned candied pesto when you wish and add to it a generous amount of extra virgin Greek olive oil.

This pesto is great in pasta as well as in soups or as a savoury addition to salad dressings.


Enjoy 🙂


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