Fresh Farmer’s Market Meals: Perfect Pesto

The growing season means fresher meals for many of us. Whether buying from a farmer’s market or harvesting from the home garden, make this perfect pesto today! 

There’s no question my family and I eat healthier this time of year. Between the locally grown produce at the farmer’s market and the abundance of organic fruits and vegetables I harvest from my garden, I know that most of what we eat is as fresh as it can be.

From Farm to Table

Speaking of fresh, I’ve been making an incredible pesto lately, and the recipe is too good not to share. 

What I love about it is it’s not made entirely of basil; while I love the herb dearly, it’s nice to add various ‘green’ sources of nutrition to the mix.

Pesto ingredients

Pesto is versatile because you can combine things that you have available such as arugula, carrot tops, garlic scapes, and even a bit of spinach.

While traditional recipes often call for pine nuts, I’ve been making this pesto with almonds, which are healthier and far less expensive. Allergic to nuts? No problem. I’ve also skipped them entirely! 

At my house, we like to add pesto to pasta, of course, but we also make a lovely farmer’s market pizza and use that over traditional tomato sauce.

pesto pizza

Last summer, I took an incredible tour of Grape Lakes Farm & Vineyard in Kingsville, Ontario. Owner Sondra Giles introduced me to garlic scape pesto, something she likes to spread over a baguette and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. So simple, and yet incredibly delicious.

pesto baguette

Basil, Arugula, and Garlic Scape Pesto

I have been looking to combine Sondra’s garlic scape pesto and a fantastic lemon arugula pesto I had at a restaurant in Canmore, British Columbia a few years back. I think I’ve finally found it. 

Through trial and error, I can honestly this pesto does not disappoint. The kids love it, my husband and I love it; we all win. 

I followed a base recipe for pesto from one of my favorite cookbooks in the world, Love Real Food, by Kathryne Taylor of Cookie + Kate. If you’re looking for amazing vegetarian food, I beg you to give this book a try. 

I’ve also added garlic scapes, and I think that gives the pesto a nice lift. 

You will need:

  • 1.5 cups of packed arugula 
  • 1.5 cups of basil leaves
  • ½ cup of almonds
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
  • 3 or 4 garlic scapes, chopped 
  • ½ teaspoon of sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup of extra-virgin olive oil

Combine the arugula, basil, almonds, lemon juice, and salt in a food processor. With the machine still running, slowly add the extra-virgin olive oil until nice and smooth. Add some black pepper to taste.


There you have it! Make a super fresh tasting pesto in less than five minutes. Enjoy!


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Catherine Sherriffs

Editor at Garden Culture Magazine

Catherine is a Canadian award-winning journalist who worked as a reporter and news anchor in Montreal’s radio and television scene for 10 years. A graduate of Concordia University, she left the hustle and bustle of the business after starting a family. Now, she’s the editor and a writer for Garden Culture Magazine while also enjoying being a mom to her three young kids. Her interests include great food, gardening, fitness, animals, and anything outdoors.