Almond pesto- Frugal Friday


Pesto is one of those dead easy, whiz it up and away you go kind of meals. The only thing that stops me is pine nuts. Yes, I love them, they are delicious. However I can’t source any local ones and they are really quite expensive. Swapping the pine nuts to a cheaper and more local nut works just as well though.

I’ve made it with pecans, walnuts before and for this one it was almonds. Blitzing whole almonds in a blender (skins on) then adding 2 bunches of fresh basil, some grated parmesan and some great local olive oil. It’s an accompaniment to lots of dishes. It never lasts long in this house, but this amount will give a good sized jar, which I just top up with some extra olive oil, and then keep it in the fridge.

Eat it stirred through pasta, a little chopped up chilli and extra parmesan.

Mixed with rice, baby spinach, and crumbled fetta.

Or simply on some toasted sourdough, bruschetta style.

34 thoughts on “Almond pesto- Frugal Friday

  1. We’ve been using slivered almonds instead of pine nuts as well – massively cheaper and I like the flavour! Wish we had some basil, we’re in that short space of time when it’s not in the garden at the moment! I find basil pesto freezes really well in little snap-lock bags (it keeps its colour too!) although I rarely remember to do that! 🙂


    • I must be a bit of a heathen, as I can’t taste a whole heap of difference between the two in pesto. Saying that I adore almonds in anything, so maybe I just love it because of that.
      I hope your basil grows in abundance in the warmer weather Celia!


  2. Yes to pesto, I also use almonds or variations such as cashews and substituting with different herbs and greens as I go. Sometimes sundried tomatoes get thrown in, sometimes chilli, often a few anchovies. In any case, makes most of the store-bought stuff seem redundnant and frightfully expensive to boot. Yay to Friday!


  3. I love pesto so much. I’ve made walnut pesto before, but haven’t tried any other nuts. I will have to do this next time I bake bread – pesto on fresh sourdough with avocado & tomato, maybe with ham or a poached egg would be an amazing lunch. Or breakfast. Or dinner. Now I’m getting hungry!


    • Find out which bit of pesto you don’t like Kari. I’ve made pesto with baby spinach instead of basil, other nuts instead of pinenuts, garlic less etc. Probably shouldn’t be called pesto with all those alterations…but hey 🙂


  4. Pesto with macadamias is really good. Up here in northern NSW, macas in season in shell from the Farmers Market are really cheap. And easy to grow too. I have a couple of older trees and lots of young ones just starting to bear.


  5. I agree pesto is also very flexible to accompany steaks and seafood too.

    I love roasting pine nuts and just eating spoonfuls as a snack 🙂 They are wonderfully delicious but I wonder if the fat content is as high as peanuts though.


  6. I love pesto in any of its incantations.
    Mint pesto with sesame seeds.
    Basil and walnut.
    Basil and macadamia sounds good too.
    I use almonds in almost anything I use nuts in.
    And you’re right- pine nuts are unreasonably expensive.
    What’s the deal with them?


  7. What a coincidence, today I made pesto too! I used walnuts this time and it came out great. I usually portion it out into plastic lined muffin tins and then freeze it. When thawed, each block makes enough sauce for a few homemade pizzas or a pound of yummy pasta. Bon apetit!


  8. Hmm, never had pesto. I ought to try making my own with cashews, that way I’ll know I can eat it. Good reminder!

    Yours looks really tasty smeared on bread with tomatoes, mmm!


  9. Carrot top pesto was a new one on me this summer, it does work, but it’s quite coarse compared to say making one with basil like you, or with rocket which is my favourite. I get further and further away from tradtional pesto these days and often use yoghurt instead of oil and all sorts of nuts, I like it with hazelnuts and with almonds and cashews are good too. I’m not so keen on pine nuts as they go rancid very quickly being so high in oil. Do you put garlic in yours?


    • Carrot top pesto eh? I’ll have to consider that one for next time.
      Usually I would put garlic in it. But we are still garlic-less, well Australian garlic anyway and I refuse to buy it from China/Mexico/Argentina. Not long to go though…


  10. I’ve never changed nuts..must try this (my, that sounds dangerous).

    The last big batch of pesto I made lasted for months in the fridge with a layer of olive oil drizzled on top each time it was replaced. Although I also like the idea of freezing pesto in ice cube trays…


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