Shiso Walnut Sesame Pesto: Pesto With A Touch of Japan

Pesto is so simple, isn't it? I always love to have it around in both the refrigerator and the freezer. My freezer is currently stocked with homemade variations, including classic basil, cilantro (another one of my favorite herbs for pesto), and even broccoli and red beet pestos. I have so much lovely purple shiso (the manager at the farm where I grow my veggies brought the seeds from Japan!), that I've been eating them regularly all sorts of ways. I like the delicate leaves fresh, but also marinated in rice vinegar and ginger (click on the image to go to the recipe page).

I've been trying different combinations of turning the leaves into a pesto, and so far, I like this combination I'm sharing here the best. It's really special and perfect for autumn!

You can eat this with anything you'd normally eat with pesto, but I think with its Japanese flavors, it pairs best with 100% buckwheat soba noodles and a sprinkling of black sesame seeds and micro greens. I hope you enjoy it!

To your health and happiness! xx, Juli

  • 3 cups loosely packed shiso leaves, washed and dried
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 5 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons mirin
  • juice of one large lemon (massage it before juicing)
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons water as needed
  • sea or Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Put all ingredients into a food processor or a blender and whiz until well combined. Add a little water as needed.