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Box of Spring by The Artisan Smokehouse
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Smoked Pesto Recipe

What is pesto:

Pesto is an incredibly versatile Italian sauce (or paste) traditionally made with fresh basil, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese, all blended together with olive oil. We love pesto and regular make it using our smoked Italian olive oil, which gives it a wonderful subtly smokey flavour that compliments so many dishes.
Read on to discover how we make our smokey twist on the classic fresh pesto sauce....

A bowl of smoked pesto with dried pasta & a block of Parmesan cheese

Freshly made smoked pesto


- 150ml smoked olive oil
- 50g Parmesan cheese, chopped into chunks
- 50g cashew nuts (lightly roasted)
- 1 x small peeled garlic clove
- Approximately 60g herbs of your choice (we love to use wild garlic when in season, but any leafy herb will work equally well)


- Prep time: 5 -10 minutes
- Cook time: 0 minutes
- Serves: Up to 4 servings 


  - Add herbs & garlic clove to food processor (or mortar if using a pestle & mortar!)
- Blend well with our smoked olive oil until finely chopped
- Add chopped Parmesan & roasted nuts to blender and gently pulse - we like a chunkier texture to our pesto, so keep on checking to make sure you aren't over blending it!

A board containing the ingredients for smoked pesto recipe, including smoked olive oil, nuts, Parmesan & wild garlic

Ingredients for making fresh smoked pesto

Smoked pesto recipe variations:

- For a vegan pesto, either miss out the Parmesan altogether or use a vegan hard cheese alternative
- Swap the cashew nuts for the more traditionally used pine nuts. Almonds and walnuts also work well - try experimenting!
- For a nut free version try using seeds, such as pumpkin seeds, in place of the nuts
- We tend to use either fresh basil leaves or wild garlic when in season to make our smoked pesto, but you can use any leafy herb, such as basil, flat leaf parsley, mint or sorrel, or any combination - why not see which herb you prefer!
- We love using our smoked olive oil as it gives a fantastic flavour, but you could use any high quality olive oil or even try substituting rapeseed oil? 
-As a top tip, you can add a touch of water to make your pesto go further, or to naturally reduce any calories!

Top 10 smoked pesto serving suggestions:

This deliciously vibrant and fresh pesto is an incredibly versatile sauce that can be used to elevate any number of dishes - just let your imagination run free...

1. Stir through pasta dishes
2. Add to soups, such as our tomato and chilli soup (see recipe...)
3. Perfect as a pizza topping
4. Try making a salad dressing - particularly good drizzled over a tomato & Mozzarella salad
5. Use as a tasty topper for macaroni cheese
6. Drizzle over a selection of our smoked meats, such as our smoked Prosciutto ham & Finocchiona salami and serve with crusty bread
7. Try mixing with cream cheese to create a delicious dip
8. Spread onto flat breads or focaccia
9. Use as a marinade for fish and meat
10. Drizzle over a tray of vegetables before roasting for a delicious herby garlic twist

Wild garlic growing in woodland

Wild garlic growing in our garden

Storing pesto:

Our fresh smoked pesto can be stored in the fridge for several days as long as you continue to cover the top with olive oil to keep the herbs fresh
Pesto can be frozen - simply seal your pesto in a freezer bag or airtight container and place in freezer. Alternatively, for convenient single portion servings, place pesto in ice cube trays and once frozen, simply transfer frozen cubes to a sealable bag. We recommend using the frozen pesto within 3 months. 

We hope you enjoy making this delicious smoked pesto!

Shop the Ingredients...

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