Quick artichoke pesto

The past month has been a busy one! From snowy New York City to chilly Ponte Vedra Beach, FL and back again to frigid–and I mean FRIGID–Chicago.


You don’t really need another picture of this icy city, do you?

It’s hard to cook healthy meals when it’s this cold out. All my body wants is fatty, meaty and starchy things. And I usually listen to it.

But in this light, quick pesto, I combine artichoke hearts with fresh basil, parsley, lemon, garlic and pine nuts. So I pretty much eliminated the meaty, fatty (aside from extra virgin olive oil and Parmesan) and starchy parts.

…But then I went and tossed it with pasta. I’m only human, right?


Artichoke pesto


    8 ounces frozen or canned artichoke hearts, drained
    1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
    1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
    1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
    Zest and juice of one lemon
    1 clove garlic, smashed
    1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    Extra virgin olive oil
    2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Method: In a food processor combine the artichokes, basil, parsley, pine nuts, lemon zest and juice, garlic, pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Run the machine to roughly puree all the ingredients, stopping the machine a few times to scrape down the sides. Then, with the machine running, drizzle in about 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil.

Take the blade out, and stir in the Parmesan cheese. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.


This recipe makes enough for pesto pasta for 4. You can also fold it into scrambled eggs, drizzle it on grilled meat, fish or vegetables, stir a little into vegetable soup just before serving, or smear it on a sandwich. To store the pesto, place in an airtight container and drizzle a little olive oil over the top. It should keep for up to 1 week.

3 thoughts on “Quick artichoke pesto

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