Marcona Almond and Mint Pesto

Marcona Almond and Mint Pesto

We’ve had a couple of really, really wonderful sun-filled days; I think if I don’t document them somehow, it’ll feel like they never happened when I’m back to trudging through puddles in my rain boots a week from now.

I’m talking tank-tops and flip-flop weather; it is as if we skipped spring and headed straight for summer. I even stopped taking my Vitamin D pills for fear I’d overdose.

Unfortunately, my week was inundated with mostly ‘stuff’ that didn’t include spending my free time outdoors – from the mounting pile of laundry to filing tax adjustments with the CRA and a million other tedious little tasks in between.

Thankfully I had pesto so dinners weren’t too much of a chore; I love pesto for this, I can quickly toss a spoonful with pasta, potatoes, couscous, quinoa… whatever, and hey presto, dinner is ready!

Whenever I’m making pesto, I make sure to double the recipe and freeze some for later, and boy, does it ever come in handy.

Marcona Almond and Mint Pesto Marcona Almond and Mint Pesto

It took me a while to come around to making this marcona almond and mint pesto; I’ve become quite enamoured with these almonds in recent years, I went from not knowing they existed to wanting to put them in everything.

I get like that with certain foods sometimes, I discovered green raisins at the nut store last week and I’m having a moment with it also, I want to make soda bread with them badly.

I already love almonds in pesto, they impart a nutty savoury taste and make the sauce really shine.

Marcona almonds are a special kind of almonds, delicate and sweeter, they have a more buttery flavour than regular almonds. It’s my favourite nut to snack on at the moment.

Mint and marcona almonds make a wonderful pairing in this pesto, the buttery sweet flavours of the almonds compliments the mint’s refreshing and bright essences, and a nice fruity extra-virgin olive oil rounds out the pesto beautifully.

Marcona Almond and Mint Pesto
Marcona Almond and Mint Pesto Marcona Almond and Mint Pesto


Marcona Almond and Mint Pesto


  • 1 cup toasted marcona almonds
  • 2 garlic gloves (for a milder taste, roast garlic)
  • 3 cups fresh mint leaves, packed
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest or zest of a small half lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to cover the pesto for storage


  1. Pulse marcona almonds in a food processor
  2. Add garlic, mint leaves, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, freshly ground pepper and salt
  3. Pulse a few times to chop the ingredients to make a coarse puree
  4. While the food processor is running, gradually add the olive oil through the feed tube, process until it’s well combined with the ingredients – You can make the pesto as coarse or as smooth as you want
  5. Check for salt and pepper and add more if desired
  6. Use immediately, or store in a jar or airtight container covered in a thin layer of olive oil
  7. Enjoy!


Marcona Almond and Mint Pesto

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  • Reply Katie @ Produce on Parade

    I’ve been dreaming of pesto lately too! We must be mind melding…but oh me oh my this mint pesto?! You’re a genius. I’m going to go whisper to my mint plant now. Excuse me. 😉

    19 May, 2014 at 3:31 pm
    • Reply Elsa

      Oooh pestos are my life! Don’t just be dreaming it… make it! And lucky you, you have a mint plant!

      22 May, 2014 at 3:55 pm
  • Reply Bintu @ Recipes From A Pantry

    Excuse me for a moment whilst I just take a moment to fall in love with this pesto. I think I told you that I knew my OH was the one when he first made me his pesto. I am sooooo gonna have to try this.

    22 May, 2014 at 3:01 am
    • Reply Elsa

      Yes, I remember that! you should share his pesto recipe, I’ll have to pass it on to my brothers 🙂

      22 May, 2014 at 4:04 pm
  • Reply Pang

    This is great, Elsa 🙂 I love your photos & recipe.
    I also recently know about this almond, too, and it is additive. 🙂

    27 May, 2014 at 2:15 pm
    • Reply Elsa

      Thanks Pang! Aren’t marcona almonds the best? Have you tried using them in recipes? I’d love to see what you come up with using them 🙂

      27 May, 2014 at 4:44 pm

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