• Plant-Based Castelvetrano Pesto

Plant-Based Castelvetrano Pesto

Recipe by: Justin Doiron
Servings: 6

"This bright and herbaceous pesto highlights the buttery saltiness of castelvetrano olives, along with the vegetal notes of Brightland’s latest finishing oil. The pesto harnesses the robust flavor of the oil, playing off its notes of artichoke and green banana while balancing it with fresh basil and pine nuts. The olives in this recipe replace a traditional pesto’s parmesan, making this recipe naturally plant-based, and perfect as an appetizer or side." - Justine Doiron

Justine Doiron is the founder, recipe developer and food stylist behind the viral social media account @justine_snacks. She’s known for her focus on plant-forward cooking, as well as her unique take on seasonal and simple ingredients.


  • ⅔ cup raw walnuts or cashews
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, firmly packed
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • 1 cup pitted Castelvetrano olives, plus more for garnish
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • ½ cup Brightland Castelvetrano Olive Oil, plus more for finishing
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt


  • 1 Add the walnuts to a heat-proof bowl or cup and cover with boiling water. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  • 2 Add the basil leaves, pine nuts, olives, and garlic to a food processor. Add half of the oil and process until a paste begins to form. Then stream in the rest of the olive oil, running the food processor as you go. The mixture will soon turn into a slightly textured pesto. Add the vinegar and season with a few good pinches of salt. Mix, then taste and season with salt as needed.
  • 3 Drain the walnuts and add them to a small blender (like a Nutribullet or something similar), add in ½ cup of cool water and a few pinches of kosher salt. Blend until very smooth.
  • 4 To serve, swipe the walnut cream on a plate (if you aren’t plant-based, you can easily substitute this for ricotta). Add the pesto to the center of the walnut cream and swirl it out to the edges.
  • 5 Top the pesto with more slices of olives and a drizzle of Brightland’s olive oil. Serve with crisp vegetables and crusty bread.