thai basil pesto

2015-11-03 12.46.37

Our garden was pretty amazing this year! I say quite often, that nature is so beautiful and this lovely plant is no exception! We decided to plant two different varieties of basil this year…the traditional sweet Italian basil…because, well…it’s sweet Italian basil! Yum! The other variety we planted was this stunning Thai basil…for a couple reasons, of which are mostly sentimental. It’s got purple flowers and also some purple leaves. My sweet Angel mom’s favorite color was purple and she also loved Thai food…done! That was enough to grab the seedlings at the nursery and plant them in our garden…if for nothing else to remind us of her every time we saw it growing and providing beauty for our eyes and comfort to our hearts. (she is dearly missed!!!)

Once we saw how abundantly happy the Thai basil plant was…we knew we’d have to have a plan on how best to harvest and use it! We knew we could dry it but then thought…we make pesto out of the sweet Italian basil, sooooo how about a pesto with a Thai flair to it? Oh the possibilities!!!

Now, is this the prettiest looking pesto once it’s all whirled up? Not at all, pretty sure the purple hue to the leaves mixed up with the green leaves and red ingredients make for a kinda grayish color with some purple undertones? Can we use the word “undertones” for food things? Haha, needless to say, getting this bowl of pesto to pose for a “mouth watering” picture was a tough one. Trust me though…it’s delicious!!! Don’t let it’s odd color be too off putting! Just toss it into your dishes and let your taste buds enjoy…I promise they will thank you, not to mention anyone that you may have joining you for dinner or lunch! You’ll have smiles!!!

I’ll add a picture below of what it looks like…brace yourselves though, it’s just not that appetizing to look at! Next time I make it, I’ll try to get a more photogenic picture of this yumminess! Also, a picture of one of the happy bees that came to our yard all summer to enjoy the sweet pollen provided by this wonderful plant…now, that is a beautiful thing!! Hope you enjoy it…we plan on using this yumminess in many more dishes as we experiment with it and add it to some other Asian dishes!

Thai basil pesto

  • Difficulty: easy
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A light and floral pesto with an Asian flair



  • 2 cups tightly packed Thai basil leaves (not the flowers)
  • ½ cup roasted sesame seeds
  • 2 T red pepper flakes
  • 2 T Red Boat Fish Sauce
  • 2 T Chosen Foods sesame oil
  • 2 T rice wine vinegar
  • 4 gloves garlic
  • 2 limes – juiced
  • ⅛ t white pepper
  • 1-2 T homemade sun butter


  1. Not much to this one…seriously easy! I put all the ingredient in my food processor and literally whirled it around till everything was combined and smooth.
  2. About fish sauce…I only use Red Boat Fish Sauce, it’s highly recommended by Nom Nom Paleo and since I started using it, won’t use any other brand. It’s umami packed and also zero sugar…making it perfectly Paleo friendly! Most brands are filled with some kind of sugar! Super gross!!!
  3. I do make my own sun butter (made from raw toasted sunflower seeds) – it’s becoming a new favorite!! I started following Sonia at thehealthyfoodie last year and she has become an amazing resource for making nut butters! I followed her instructions last Spring for making cashew butter and it was mind blowing! I will NEVER buy store bought cashew butter again! Her amazing new cookbook, “Paleo Home Cooking” has over 20 nut butter recipes – one of which is the Sun Butter recipe that I use in this recipe…it is also mind blowing and I’ve been putting it on everything! Seriously, so delicious!

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