A Fresh Herb Pesto Sauce Recipe – It Ain’t Just Basil Anymore

by Pamela

pesto sauce recipe, fresh herbs, herb pesto

I’m not one to stay in the lines when I color (yes, I still have crayons and coloring books…it’s cheaper therapy than going to a shrink), I don’t solve math problems the way they show you in the books (just ask my senior math teacher Mr. Bailey – sorry for that migraine I caused you, or my dipshit Econ prof in grad school – that math problem had no place being on that final and your burrito economics made absolutely no sense – no, it doesn’t matter that since you worked in a burrito factory that you could only come up with examples using burritos) and I don’t make sandcastles like normal people either. So to say that I think outside the box would be quite the understatement, but you already know that about me…that’s why you come here (or maybe it’s because you’re just waiting for the imminent meltdown – whatever, I love having you here). So the fact that this herb pesto sauce recipe is not your traditional basil pesto sauce should come as no surprise to you. But it will be a delicious surprise to your taste buds.

I’ve written a couple of what to do with all this basil posts. In fact, this basil recipes post is one of my most popular posts ever on the site. You may have noticed that there seems to be one HUGE glaring omission from either of these posts – there’s no basil pesto sauce recipe on them. Maybe you think this is an omission of truth, and maybe it is, but I’m so sick of basil pesto. I think it’s a cop out. “Hey, I’ve got a boatload of basil, I guess I’ll make a ginormous batch of pesto to use it up.” UGH…originality people.

That’s where this herb pesto comes in. I think this type of pesto sauce recipe is more deliberate as opposed to “what else am I going to make” approach. No, I’m not gonna get all preachy hear about the concept of deliberate cooking. This is still about breaking the norms and thinking outside the box.

Remember that post I wrote about taking a trip to Columbus and devouring the food of the city? One of our stops was to Jorgensen Organic Farms. Val, the owner, brought out a jar of herb pesto, a loaf of bread and some garden fresh tomatoes and told us to enjoy ourselves. What was in this herb pesto that we were all devouring like we hadn’t eaten in a week (which was so far from reality it wasn’t even funny)? Nothing but fresh herbs and some olive oil. In all seriousness, it was like some new found food we had never had before. It really was quite embarrassing how we were devouring this stuff. But Jan said our reaction was quite normal (I think she was just trying to make us feel good and mask her deep level of shock).

Fresh herbs herb pesto recipe

I’m sure this will come as no surprise to you that I haven’t made a single batch of basil pesto this year. But as soon as I got home from this trip I grabbed all the fresh herbs from my garden, and picked up a couple more (for even more variety) and made a gigantic batch of herb pesto.

The flavor you get from using all the different fresh herbs is fantastic. I made mine so that no one herb overpowered any of the others and they all blended together so that you could put this sauce on all kinds of things. But since there really isn’t much of an actual ‘recipe’ to follow, you could use more of one herb than another or omit something that you don’t like to highlight a specific dish you might be adding it to.

I’ve been taking this basic pesto sauce recipe and adding a bit of cream to it for a creamy herb pesto and pouring it over grilled chicken. I’ve also been stirring it, plain, into bowls of pasta, mixing it with some mayo for cool and creamy pasta salads, slathering it on corn on the cob and just spooning it onto slices of toasted bread and serving it as an appetizer.

Anything you would do with basil pesto you can do with this herb pesto…and maybe a little bit more.

What herbs will you used in your herb pesto sauce recipe?

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Recipe: Fresh Herb Pesto Sauce Recipe

Summary: Makes Approximately 1 Pint of Herb Pesto


  • Large Bunch Chervil
  • Medium Bunch Flat Leaf Pasley
  • Medium Bunch Dill
  • Small Bunch Mint
  • Small Bunch Basil
  • Small Bunch Lemon Basil
  • Small Bunch Garlic Chives
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil


  1. Clean and pick through all of the herbs to make sure you don’t have any dead or slimy leaves going into the pesto.
  2. Cut off any thick/woody stems you might find on the parsley or basil.
  3. Place all of the herbs into your food processor and start it up.
  4. As the herbs are being processed, start drizzling in olive oil to thin out the mixture.
  5. Continue doing this until you get the consistency you are looking for.
  6. Stop the processor and give the pesto a taste. Does it need a little more of some flavor? More lemon? Add more lemon basil or a shot of lemon juice. More garlic? Add some more of the garlic chives. Maybe it has a bit too much of one of these flavors. If that’s the case, add more of the dill, chervil or a touch more mint.
  7. Add pepper to taste.
  8. Spoon into a jar and top it off with olive oil.
  9. Always keep the top of the jar with a layer of the extra virgin olive oil on it.


You can use whatever herbs you have on hand or whichever herbs you like. There isn’t much of a recipe to this so do what you like. It’s just a nice change from the usual basil pesto. Have fun with it.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time:

Diet type: Vegan

Diet tags: Gluten free, Raw

Number of servings (yield): 1

Culinary tradition: Italian

Recipe by Pamela Braun.


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Belinda @zomppa August 28, 2012 at 4:39 am

Brilliant!! A true original…..

Pamela August 30, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Hi Belinda,
This recipe is a true keeper! I especially like it because it’s not really much of a recipe and you can make it with whatever you really like, and leave out what you don’t like.

Sippitysup August 27, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Good stuff. I remember it well. GREG

Pamela August 27, 2012 at 5:59 pm

I couldn’t stop thinking about it (obviously). 😉

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