Greek Pesto – How I Used Up Some Not So Pretty Herbs

This always happens to me. I buy fresh produce…and then I’m on the road before I can finish everything. This past week wasn’t too bad. I refrained from grocery shopping and happily Emilie came over for dinner and brought along all the fresh ingredients we needed. Even then, I came home from my trip to some very unhappy herbs. I swear they were staring at me forlornly while I executed my post-travel fridge purge (Adios, arugla! Sayonara, snow peas!) .

Luckily, these bunches of mint, basil, and parsley, though sad looking, had not gone bad per se. The basil and mint leaves were starting to discolor, but not rot. The parsley had started to loose its snappiness, but retained its dark green color. Anything requiring presentation was a no go, but then I remembered I had some pine nuts in the freezer and thought:  Eureka! Why not a pesto? The mint would give it a nice Greek twist. Thanks to Emilie, I even had some Greek olive oil (I usually go for Spanish) in the pantry.

Now pesto is a very versatile…condiment? sauce? dip? Ummm…ok, so you can do a lot of things with pesto. Today I’m showing it to you as a dip, but stay tuned! My next post uses this Greek Pesto to tackle a quick and heart healthy dinner!

Greek Pesto


  • 1 cup Basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup Italian parsley
  • 1/2 cup Mint leaves
  • 3 tbsp pine nuts
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tbsp Greek olive oil
  • 1/3 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, freshly grated
  • freshly ground sea salt and pepper


  1. Place herbs, pine nuts, garlic, and olive oil into a food processor or
  2. Pulse/blend until ingredients are well blended and chopped. Pour into a small bowl.
  3. Add grated Parmigiano Reggiano to the blended herbs and mix well with a spoon or spatula.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.



5 responses to “Greek Pesto – How I Used Up Some Not So Pretty Herbs

  1. Townsend Curran (aka Pete)

    Question Ruth – when I make a pesto I start with all the dry ingredients in the food processor and drizzle in the olive oil until I get the consistency I want (whether a dip or spread vs a marinade). Why do you do the parm last? R, Miss Pete

    • Hi, Miss Pete! The reason I put the olive oil in with all the dry ingredients is because smaller food processors, like mine, do not have that chute at the top that lets you drizzle in liquids. I have to take the top off to add more. Happily I got the consistency I wanted on the first go :-). Adding the parm last was a tip I had heard on a cooking show. Something about the heat from the blade changing the flavor of the cheese? Since then, I’ve always added it last for cold/room temp dishes.

  2. Pingback: Lemon Salmon with Mint “Greek” Pesto over Spaghetti and Arugula | corkandspoon

  3. nom nom nom! Looks tasty. I’ve been nursing a basil plant in the hope that I’ll eventually have enough leaves to make some but i think if i did it just now it wouldn’t survive long after. I may have to just buy some in a packet because this recipe has made me really crave some pesto 🙂

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