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basil pesto recipe with garlic scapes and hazelnuts

Basil Pesto recipe with garlic scapes and hazelnuts

  • Author: Chris Dalziel
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 5
  • Total Time: 20 minutes


Hazelnuts and hazelnut oil flavour along with freshly picked basil leaves pare well together. There is no cheese in this pesto nor pinenuts.  Garlic scapes replace the traditional minced garlic, for a milder fire that doesn’t need to be quenched with dairy products.    It’s a versatile herbed condiment that you’ll want to keep in stock, while basil is fresh.


  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts
  • 2 cups of fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup of hazelnut oil
  • 15 garlic scapes
  • 1/2 tsp. herbed salt


  • Lightly toast the hazelnuts in a frying pan over medium heat.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  • Process the cooled hazelnuts in a food processor until finely chopped.  Remove from the food processor and set aside.
  • Snap off the blossom part of each garlic scape.  Snap the remainder of the garlic scape stem into 1/2 inch pieces.
  • In the small bowl of a food processor or in the chopper attachment of a hand blender like this one, place the garlic scape pieces and hazelnut oil.
  • Pulse the food processor until the garlic scapes and hazelnut oil are finely blended.
  • Add half the basil leaves and continue pulsing until finely chopped.
  • Add the remaining basil leaves and pulse until finely chopped and well blended.
  • Add half the chopped hazelnuts and continue pulsing until well mixed.  The mixture should have a fine paste-like texture.
  • Add the last of the hazelnut and 1/2 tsp. of herbed French grey sea salt.
  • Mix well until mixture has a uniform, fine texture.  If the pesto is too firm to blend freely, add more hazelnut oil, 1 tsp. at a time, until it will blend smoothly.

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