Food: Chive and Rosemary Pesto

If you’re a pesto enthusiast looking to switch things up from the classic basil and pine nut combination, you’re in for a treat! Today, we’re diving into the world of chive and rosemary pesto. This delightful alternative not only ditches the pine nuts but also offers a unique flavour profile that’s perfect for those who crave a more herbaceous and savoury twist on this beloved sauce.


  • 2 cup fresh chives (about 2 large bunches)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves (removed from stems)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1. Prepare the Herbs:

  • Rinse and dry the fresh chives and rosemary leaves. Remove any tough or woody stems from the chives.

2. Toast the Sesame Seeds:

  • In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the sesame seeds for about 2-3 minutes until they become fragrant and lightly golden. Be sure to stir them occasionally to prevent burning. Once toasted, set them aside to cool.

3. Blend the Ingredients:

  • In a food processor, combine the chives, rosemary, minced garlic, grated Parmesan cheese, and toasted sesame seeds.

4. Add Lemon Zest and Juice:

  • Zest the lemon directly into the food processor, then cut it in half and squeeze its juice into the mixture.

5. Drizzle in the Olive Oil:

  • With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in the extra-virgin olive oil until the pesto reaches your desired consistency. You may need a little more or a little less olive oil, depending on your preference.

6. Season to Taste:

  • Season the chive and rosemary pesto with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.

7. Store or Serve:

  • You can use the pesto immediately as a pasta sauce, spread it on sandwiches, or serve it as a dip. If you’re not using it right away, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To maintain its vibrant green colour, you can drizzle a thin layer of olive oil on top before sealing the container.

Final Thoughts: This chive and rosemary pesto with toasted sesame seeds is a delightful departure from the traditional basil and pine nut version. It’s bursting with fresh, savoury flavours and offers a unique twist on a classic sauce. Whether you use it as a pasta topping, a spread for sandwiches, or a dip for crusty bread, this pesto is sure to become a favourite in your kitchen. Plus, it’s pine nut-free for those with allergies or anyone looking to try something new. Enjoy experimenting with different ways to incorporate this delicious pesto into your meals!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email