Thai Basil Pesto (for the asian italian in you)

One thing that I absolutely love about the summer is when the garden starts shooting up bushes upon bushes of basil. It's like mini shrubbery in between the tomato and eggplant plants, almost like an ode to my Italian heritage - plus i think its hands down my favorite smelling herb.

Well this summer the same bushels started popping up like mad of Sweet Basil's cousin Thai Basil (or Holy Basil)! I fell in love with the aromatic, licorice tainted scents of the herb and started adding it to soups, rice dishes, curries and dressings. Then I thought, wait, this would taste incredible even more concentrated, like a pesto! And guess what - I was right :)

This pesto recipe hasn't been tested out traditionally on pasta, however I can see this being DELISH when added to some rice noodles, tofu, and veggies, but instead I spooned some over a beautiful wild caught sockeye salmon fillet and some steamed swiss chard (pic below). IT WAS HEAVEN!  It was nutty, creamy, savory and bright all at once. Would make for a yummy spread on a sandwich or even a dip! Try it!


Thought of as the "healthier basil" it contains more antioxidants than regular basil and  can both tame stress (it has anti-anxiety effects) and even detoxify your liver ! via


Thai Basil Pesto


  • 2 cups fresh Thai basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons shelled peanuts (salted or unsalted)
  • 1 tablespoon raw sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 or more garlic cloves

Combine all together in a food processor until creamy. You can keep adding water bit by bit to achieve the thickness you desire. Enjoy! 

Thai Basil Pesto over an oven roasted wild salmon with swiss chard.

Thai Basil Pesto over an oven roasted wild salmon with swiss chard.