Fresh Basil Pecan Pesto

The first time I walked through the front door, I felt something. It was a little nudge. A whisper even … I could live here. I walked from room to room, imagining our life inside this home. And when I stepped into the kitchen, with its white cabinets, stone countertop and gray walls, it was as if it was designed just for me.

Space for counter stools. Enough cabinets to happily store all my kitchen toys. Room to cook, eat and entertain.

And there was more … a first floor bathroom and laundry room. A bonus room that will make a perfect pantry. A yard. With every step the idea cemented more and more in my head: Home.

After more than three years of searching, my kids and I are finally moving to a right-sized place for us. I can hardly wait.

In the meantime, we’re packing (ugh), purging (yay!) and figuring out what we need in this bigger space. And we’re also eating our way through our pantry and freezer. Less to move, you know?

When I bought a lovely, brilliant bunch of basil at the farmers’ market this weekend though, I realized I hadn’t made any pestos at all this summer. It’s one of my favorite sauces — equally good tossed with pasta as it is on sandwiches, baked on fish and chicken and drizzled on caprese salad.

So I paused the packing to break out my food processor for one last hurrah before we move.


Now, pesto is traditionally made in a mortar and pestle, ground by hand into a chunky, bright paste. But a food processor can make a good pesto too, making quick work of the task.

Into it, I added the basil along with garlic, chopped pecans and grated Romano cheese. After pulsing it a bit to chop the ingredients to uniformity, I drizzled the olive oil very slowly with the food processor running. Then, finally, after transferring the pesto to a container for storing, I seasoned it — to taste — with enough salt to bring out the flavors.

Then it’s ready — a bold take on a classic favorite with flavors a little different than you might expect, but still oh-so-good.

What’s your best moving tip for me?

Fresh Basil Pecan Pesto
Serves: Yields about 1 cup
  • 2 cups packed basil leaves, washed and dried
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ cup pecans
  • ¼ cup grated Romano cheese
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  1. Combine the basil, garlic, pecans and Parmesan in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until chopped. With the food processor running, add the olive oil in a thin stream. Stir in salt, to taste.



Sarah Walker Caron

About Sarah Walker Caron

Sarah Walker Caron is editor of Bangor Metro magazine and senior features editor for the Bangor Daily News. She is the author of "The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook," (Sept. 2018, Rockridge Press) and the co-author of "Grains as Mains: Modern Recipes Using Ancient Grains" (March 2015, DK). Her recipes have appeared in the BDN, Betty Crocker publications, and more. She also writes about food at