How To Make Lemon Balm Pesto

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Lemon balm pesto is a refreshing, delicious and easy to make pesto with a great fresh lemony flavor. Serve it with pasta, bread, grilled meat or use it to refine stews. The list is endless!

Lemon balm and basil are growing explosively in the garden around this time of the year.

A good reason for me to make pesto for my pesto lover husband, who by the way immediately cooked pasta when he came home while I was making it and ate up most of it, such that the next day I had to make another pesto. This refreshing lemon balm pesto made with lemon balm, basil, freshly squeezed lemon juice, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese and olive oil is so good, simple and quick to make.

What you’ll need to make lemon balm pesto:

35 g (1.2 oz) fresh lemon balm leaves
15 g (½ oz) fresh basil leaves
2 garlic cloves
50 (1/3 cup/ 1.8 oz) pine nuts
50 g (about ½ cup/ 1.8 oz) Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
125 ml (½ cup + 1 teaspoon) olive oil plus extra to cover pesto
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

How to make lemon balm pesto with basil

Begin by washing lemon balm and basil very well and put in a colander to drain.

In the meantime, peel garlic cloves and chop them. Next roast the pine nuts in a pan, without oil. until the nuts have a nice brownish color. Be careful not to burn them, because the get burned very fast. Roasting the nuts gives an extra fine nutty flavor.

Once lemon balm and basil leaves are somehow dry (if they are not dry, just pat them dry with paper towels) chop them into small pieces. This allows the flavors to come out nicely.
NOTE: This is very important so that the leaves will dry, otherwise this will make the pesto watery and this may cause it to go bad due to high water content in it.

Combine all the ingredients in a jar, except the oil and cheese. Slowly add olive oil while moving the hand blender up and down for a couple of times.

Once you’ve reached your preferable pesto texture, fold in Parmesan cheese.

Season with salt and pepper and fill the pesto into glass containers. Fill the container completely with olive oil, so that pesto won’t come in contact with air. Otherwise the pesto will turn brownish.

Cover and chill. This pesto tastes delicious when freshly made, just after resting for few minutes. It’s very important that you chill the pesto for maximum of 5 days. Because the longer you keep it in the fridge, the more it tastes like grass. Freeze it instead by putting it in greased ice cube trays if you’re not using it up.
– If you’re having trouble finding pine nuts, use sunflower seeds or walnuts instead.

Enjoy!

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How To Make Lemon Balm Pesto

Lemon balm pesto is a refreshing, delicious and easy to make pesto with a great fresh lemony flavor. Serve it with pasta, bread, grilled meat or use it to refine stews. The list is endless!
Prep Time15 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: condiment, Sauces
Cuisine: European, Italian
Keyword: basil pesto, how to, lemon balm pesto, lemon balm recipes, Zitronenmelisse Pesto
Servings: 200 g (about 1 cup)
Author: Ester from esterkocht.com

Equipment

  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Colander
  • Hand blender
  • Jar
  • glass or jar with a tight fitting lid
  • Spatula

Ingredients

  • 35 g (1.2 oz) lemon balm leaves fresh
  • 15 g (½ oz) basil leaves fresh
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 50 (⅓ cup/ 1.8 oz) pine nuts
  • 50 g (about ½ cup/ 1.8 oz) Parmesan cheese freshly grated
  • 125 ml (½ cup + 1 teaspoon) olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Begin by washing lemon balm and basil very well and put in a colander to drain. In the meantime, peel garlic cloves and chop them. Next roast the pine nuts in a pan, without oil. until the nuts have a nice brownish color. Be careful not to burn them, because the get burned very fast. Roasting the nuts gives an extra fine nutty flavor. Once lemon balm and basil leaves are somehow dry (if they are not dry, just pat them dry with paper towels) chop them into small pieces. This allows the flavors to come out nicely.
  • Combine all the ingredients in a jar, except the oil and cheese. Slowly add olive oil while moving the hand blender up and down for a couple of times. Once you've reached your preferable pesto texture, fold in Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper and fill the pesto into glass containers. Fill the container completely with olive oil, so that pesto won't come in contact with air. Otherwise the pesto will turn brownish. Cover and chill. This pesto tastes delicious when freshly made, just after resting for few minutes. It's very important that you chill the pesto for maximum of 5 days. Because the longer you keep it in the fridge, the more it tastes like grass. Freeze it instead by putting it in greased ice cube trays if you're not using it up.

Notes

  • It's very important that the lemon balm and basil leaves are somehow dry before making the pesto, otherwise this will make the pesto watery and this may cause it to go bad due to high water content in it.
  • If you're having trouble finding pine nuts, use sunflower seeds or walnuts instead.
  • This pesto tastes delicious when freshly made, just after resting for few minutes. It's very important that you chill the pesto for maximum of 5 days. Because the longer you keep it in the fridge, the more it tastes like grass. Freeze it instead by putting it in greased ice cube trays if you're not using it up.
  •  

Did you make this recipe? I’d love to hear from you! Simply write a review and add rating to it. Or share your creation with me on Ester kocht Facebook Page or tag @ester.kocht on Instagram.

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