Basil and Macadamia Nut Pesto


I feel like getting back to basics. I’m officially on holidays from my food editor job, and the past weeks have seen all manner of festive dishes cooked, tested and prepared for the magazine. I feel I’ve already cooked my way through Christmas fare and now I just crave some simple food that requires no recipe, no testing, no oven!

I can think of no better condiment to make in summer than basil pesto. What makes this pesto truly special is replacing the traditional pine nuts with macadamia nuts. The creamy consistency of macadamia nuts is just what the sweet perfumed basil requires. It’s a match made in heaven. 


My son – and I must say I’m absolutely ecstatic about this – discovered he likes to eat my pesto with crackers. He actually polished off the entire bowl the other day and instead of lecturing him on how greedy that was, I was congratulating him on finally discovering the wonders of freshly made pesto. One child down, one to go.


Basil and macadamia nut pesto 


1 1/2 cups picked and washed basil leaves

80g (1/2 cup) raw macadamia nuts

1 small clove garlic, chopped

1 small lemon, juiced

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup grated parmesan

Sea salt

Black pepper


Place all the ingredients for the pesto in a food processor, blitz till nuts are a chunky consistency and basil is well combined. Check seasoning and adjust with extra salt, pepper or lemon juice.

TIP – washing the basil enlivens the vibrant green colour and gives you a bright green finish to the pesto. Pesto stores in the fridge for several days.






10 Comments Add yours

  1. These are both so colourful and beautiful. The pesto is particular is making me hungry! But that list of food you’ve been working on – wow – I wish I could buy a copy of the magazine in Canada. Heavenly!

  2. Both great recipes! I love the macadamia in the pesto, yum! And, both red beetroot and red cabbage will give that surprise texture that is so special! YUM!

  3. platedujour says:

    I’m so glad to see it’s not only me not being publishing Christmas recipes!! And I just made second bread this week, which would be perfect with this yummy looking cabbage oh oh 🙂

  4. Both of these look so vibrant and delicious…and such a nice change from all the xmas baking and sweet treats around now. Congratulations on your son reaching a new food milestone! 🙂

  5. Hi Michelle, these both look so beautiful and vibrant! I hadn’t seen any posts from you for a while, but on checking your blog I see that somehow I unfollowed you…strange…but rectified now and I look forward to seeing you in my feed again. Happy new year 🙂

    1. Hi Chez, the lack of posts coming through might be due to my lack of actually posting! I’ve been enjoying my summer break from all things food. It’s almost time to get back into it and get cooking again. Happy New Year to you too.

  6. pam day says:

    just love the fruit mince slice from who magazine.15th December…… lost the magazine and would love a copy of the recipe as the copy i made chopped off some of the instructios 🙂

    1. Hi Pam, Glad you liked the fruit mince slice, so simple, yet so yummy. One of the girls from the office will email you the recipe shortly.

  7. Whisked Away says:

    That pesto looks divine! So many fabulous recipes on here, can’t wait to try some!

    1. Thanks Jamie. Every kitchen should have a jar of homemade pesto on rotation, and this one with macadamia nuts is my favourite.

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