Caribbean Pirate Pesto

Marcus (Pirate Pesto)


My friend Marcus in the photo above was the inspiration for the name of this pesto.  The patch is for real, not a fashion statement, and I love the look of pure “attitude” he brings here.

Basil grows lush in the rich volcanic soil of Saint Lucia. It is used in many traditional fish preparations and green seasoning. Pesto, an Italian import, is not an indigenous  Caribbean recipe. Pesto is more indicative of the melting pot of flavours and tastes that we blend together in the Caribbean. AND I have a great private source of organic basil growing prolifically in this La Clery “ghetto”  garden.




Recipe taken from Delia Smith




50g Fresh basil leaves

1 large clove garlic

6 tblsp olive oil

1 tblsp pine nuts

25g paremesan cheese grated




Alex with basil


This is just a small part of the organic basil that Alex, who manages the John Street Harm Reduction programme which includes the organic gardens, brought for me. I actually made about 1.5 kg of pesto that day and have frozen it into 200g bags. I use these as gifts and of course for my own cooking and eating pleasure.




Wash the basil and shake off any excess water. Simply place all the ingredients in the food processor and blitz until you have a satisfyingly smooth sauce, which fills the kitchen with that lovely basil smell.


I always freeze whatever I’m not using immediately and the best thing to do if you have the inclination, is to freeze in ice trays, then transfer the frozen blocks to zipped freezer bags, so all you need take out at any one time is a block or two.


I don’t eat pasta much as I stay away from refined carbohydrates, but there are plenty of meals in which I enjoy my pesto on chicken (Orange and Pesto Chicken), vegetables (Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Pesto, Roasted Peppers and Goats Cheese), as a spread on crostini……the possibilities are endless.


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