Making pesto from farmers market basil or or plants from your own garden is one of the joys of a Maine summer. (And, of course, freezing some to enjoy when the snow flies.) But pesto doesn’t have to be just a summertime treat.

Here are two good fall and winter pesto recipes that can be made with any sage, parsley or fennel still in your garden. Halve the recipes for smaller batches.


Use with pork, or in your favorite stuffing or marinade. Swirl a dollop into a hearty fall or winter soup.

Yield: 24 ounces

3 cups sage, packed

1 cup parsley, packed

3/4 cup walnuts

1/2 cup pine nuts

2 cups extra-virgin olive oil, or to desired consistency

2-4 cloves garlic

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 heaping teaspoon lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt, or to taste

Combine the sage, parsley, half of the walnuts, half of the pine nuts, olive oil, and garlic in a food processor and process until finely chopped. Add the cheeses and the remainder of the nuts and pulse several times. Add the lemon juice a tablespoon at a time until you like the way the pesto tastes; add the lemon zest and sea salt and pulse a few times. Taste to correct the seasonings.


Use much like traditional basil pesto. Great on mussels, and as a marinade for fish or lamb.

Yield: 24 ounces

1/2 teaspoon anise seed

1/2 teaspoon fennel seed

4 cups chopped fennel fronds

1/2 cup mint (add more if desired)

1 cup pine nuts

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

1 teaspoon lemon zest

Coarse sea salt, to taste (about 1/8 teaspoon)

Crush the anise and fennel seeds with a mortar and pestle and set aside. Combine fennel fronds, mint, most of the pine nuts, the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and the crushed seeds in a food processor. Process until finely chopped. Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano and lemon zest and pulse a few times. Add sea salt to taste.