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  • Writer's pictureRajani Katta

Basil Pesto Recipe

The Basics: This recipe is a power blend, because it involves blending together several powerful nutrient-rich ingredients. The basic recipe for any pesto involves mixing a few key ingredients in the food processor.

Basil leaves, walnuts, and salt in a food processor
To make basil pesto, blend basil leaves, walnuts, olive oil, and a few other ingredients.

I love the flavor of basil pesto in sandwiches, with pasta, or just drizzled on roasted vegetables. It’s also an example of a super easy recipe that packs in a whole lot of skin saving benefits.

Herbs and spices are some of the most powerful skin saving foods out there, because they are such concentrated sources of skin protective nutrients. Basil contains a compound called apigenin. This is a type of flavonoid (a phytonutrient) that in laboratory studies was able to stimulate DNA repair genes after UV exposure.

Walnuts are another key ingredient, and they're a great source of alpha-linolenic acid. This is an omega-3 fatty acid, which are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. In one study, a higher reported intake of this polyunsaturated fatty acid was associated with less skin aging.

Even the olive oil has demonstrated benefits. In one study, higher reported intakes of olive oil were associated with less skin wrinkling.

Basil leaves, walnuts, and salt are the ingredients for basil pesto.
Basil Pesto Recipe



1 or 2 peeled garlic cloves

2 cups of basil leaves [loosely packed]

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup olive oil



1. Chop garlic cloves in food processor

2. Add basil, walnuts, and salt, and coarsely chop the mixture

3. Add olive oil and chop to the consistency of a thick paste


Dr. Rajani Katta is the author of Glow: The Dermatologist's Guide to a Whole Foods Younger Skin Diet. To receive future updates on preventive dermatology and the role of diet, sign up here.




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