Sage Pesto

September 5, 2019 Published by Dina

Sage pesto

Here is an easy recipe for a pesto that doesn’t use basil and goes well with vegetables. Sage grows in my rooftop garden as a perennial that comes back strong and vigorous every year. In fact I had to cut it back early in the season to prevent it from going too wild.

I make this pesto much like a basil pesto but changed the core ingredients to sage and pistachios or walnuts instead of basil and pine nuts. I do use parmesan here but nothing should stop you from experimenting with other hard cheese, or leave the cheese out altogether for a vegan version (I often do).

This is more of a guideline rather than an exact recipe. Use enough oil to give the pesto the texture you want. I like texture and make it not too runny, adding more oil as necessary at the time of serving. Sometime I want it as a spread, as in the previous tomato post, sometime as sauce with grilled vegetables.

Other pesto recipes on the blog:

Parsley and walnut pesto

Garlic scape pesto

Four nut pesto

Warm macademia pesto

Parsley pesto



A large handful of sage leaves, about a cupful or more. I cut two branches with lots of leaves and go with it.

1/2 cup pistachios or walnuts, lightly toasted in a skillet or the oven (don’t skip this step)

A small chunk of parmesan

1-2 small garlic cloves

Salt and pepper

Olive oil, about a cup or as necessary


Place all the ingredients except oil in a food processor (blender makes this too smooth, it needs texture) and process until the ingredient are combined. Open the lid and check for the consistency you like.

Begin adding the oil, drizzling it in until all the ingredients are incorporated and creamy but still have texture. Add just enough oil as needed, you can always add more later.

Remove and taste, correct the seasoning and store in glass jar in the refrigerator. This freezes well for longer storage.

Use with roasted vegetables, as spread, as dip, on pizza, with pasta etc. It’s very versatile.



Sage pesto


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