I have a recipe for pesto that has pine nuts as an ingredient. Pine nuts are relatively expensive, so I was wondering if there are other types of nuts that can be substituted for pine nuts.

asked 27 Nov '09, 17:28

avidlcfan's gravatar image

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edited 27 Nov '09, 21:34

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klypos ♦♦

You could try using cashews, walnuts or almonds. For the cashews you can buy the broken bits, which are less expensive than the whole cashews.


answered 27 Nov '09, 19:48

runtavi's gravatar image

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Walnuts are as traditional as pine nuts in most Italian pesto recipes. Macadamias, pecans and pistachio nuts work well, but chopped roasted peanuts are about as good as anything in pesto - and very cheap!


answered 27 Nov '09, 21:32

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klypos ♦♦
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using peanuts instead of pine nuts in pesto saves loads. now to find a source of cheap basil

(04 May '10, 21:31) Kris ♦♦

Just buy the cheapest green basil pesto you can find, and "soup it up". Honestly, unless you live in Italy, it ain't worth the work. I got two hydroponic basil plants from my local supermarket last week, and they gave about half a standard jar of pesto. Yea, I have planted the rooty bits, and one is surviving, so I might get some more... but the basilic pesto flavor does not diminish when oiled in the jar. Conoisseurs might be able to detect the use of EV olive oil in a completely fresh batch. WTH you want to eat tonight? ...

(04 May '10, 22:39) klypos ♦♦

@runtavi No, they are not


answered 07 Feb '10, 03:51

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edited 07 Feb '10, 18:20

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Kris ♦♦

I find the best alternative is shelled raw unsalted sunflower seeds which I buy in Canada at a bulk food store for 70 cents per 100g vs over 9 dollars per 100g for pine nuts. They will pestle to give a similar oiliness and texture, and the flavour; like pine nuts, is delicate. I find walnuts and others too strong and also the wrong texture. I will use just sunflower seed, though I also fool traditionalists by using 1/4 expensive pine nuts and 3/4 sunflower seed. It tastes the same for a lot less expense.


answered 06 Aug '10, 13:15

John's gravatar image

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I use sunflower seeds, too. The results are heavenly.


answered 26 Oct '10, 19:40

Elissa's gravatar image

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Pine nuts are the best. Sure, you can use substitutes but the results will be inferior. It depends on who is going to be eating the pesto. If it's some undiscerning diner who scoffs anything up, then you could add just about anything, even peanuts, as a cheap substitute. If it's for anyone with a more sophisticated palate then you need to use pine nuts.

Substitutes are all very well but if you don't want to pay the price of making something the classical way, then maybe you should just make something else. I can imagine that a good 'pesto' could be made using coriander and peanuts etc. Must give that a try sometime. Thanks for the idea!


answered 19 Dec '10, 08:05

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Not Delia
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The Italians do make a pesto from broad leaf parsley ...

(21 Dec '10, 03:24) klypos ♦♦
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Asked: 27 Nov '09, 17:28

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Last updated: 19 Dec '10, 08:05

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