Photo and recipe courtesy of Williams-Sonoma

Pesto is definitely a staple in our household. We mix it into everything–from our frittatas to our pasta! During our cleanse, we’ve used it for our veggies, potatoes and rice. It’s incredibly simple to make and the basil has superior health benefits. Who doesn’t like the aroma of fresh basil?

This is a recipe that has been ingrained into my brain since I’ve made it so many times. Of course, while on the cleanse, it’s prepared without the cheese and pine nuts. I’ve adjusted the recipe from its original version since we don’t use all of the different cheeses.


  • 3 to 4 Tbs. pine nuts
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 to 3 cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 10 to 15 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


  1. In a blender or food processor, combine the pine nuts and garlic and chop coarsely. Add about half of the basil and process to chop coarsely. Add the remaining basil, parsley and olive oil and process until a thick green mixture forms. If the mixture is too thin, add more basil or parsley. If it’s too thick, add more olive oil.
  2. Add the cheese and season with salt and pepper. Blend together briefly and transfer mixture into a glass container.  To avoid the pesto from discoloring, top with a thin layer of olive oil.  Cover tightly and refrigerate; this can be stored up to two weeks. (Pesto in our house has never lasted for two weeks since it’s eaten up within days of making it.)