Brazil Nut Pesto (Molho Pesto de Castanha-do-Parã)

In Portuguese, the name of this large nut, castanha-do-parã, translates to “chestnut from Parã” (a state in the northern Amazonian region of Brazil). This pesto recipe is similar to traditional Italian pesto made with pine nuts but takes advantage of the creamy, rich flavor of this local nut.

Serves: 4Hands-on: 10 minutesTotal: 10 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 4


  • 1 cup coarsely chopped Brazil nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1⁄2 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1⁄3 cup olive oil


  • Place the Brazil nuts in the bowl of a food processor with the garlic. Process until finely chopped. Add the parsley and the Parmesan and process in short pulses until finely chopped.
  • Add the lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Add the olive oil slowly, processing mixture until you have a relatively smooth paste.
  • Refrigerate pesto in a jar or other glass container, completely covered with a thin layer of olive oil, for up to 5 days.