Photo Credit: Lara Ferroni

Peanut-Sesame Pesto


This different style of pesto can be used on a variety of dishes!

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This is one of my favorite flavor combinations; I use it on chicken, flank steak, pork, tofu, and, of course, noodles. My favorite sesame noodles are served cold and topped with sliced scallions and cucumber. Cook 8 ounces of Asian noodles or thin linguine and rinse in cold water before tossing with 1 cup of pesto — rinsing the noodles prevents them from becoming gummy. These keep well, so I often make extra for leftovers. 

Author: Olwen Woodier
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Makes about 2 ½ cups


  • 1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • ¼ cup snipped chives or thinly sliced scallions (green part only)
  • 4–6 large cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 2-inch piece gingerroot, peeled and sliced
  • ½ cup peanut butter, chunky or smooth
  • ½ cup warm water
  • ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup sesame oil
  • ¼ cup tahini paste
  • 1 tablespoon honey or sweet chili sauce 


  1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth or to desired consistency, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  2. Add more sesame oil, honey, or soy sauce to taste.  


Excerpted from The Pesto Cookbook © by Olwen Woodier. Photo by © Lara Ferroni. Used with permission from Storey Publishing.

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