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Raw Hemp Leaf Pesto


This recipe is excerpted from The Art of Cooking with Cannabis: CBD and THC-Infused Recipes from Across America by Tracey Medeiros (Skyhorse Publishing, May 2021). Medeiros features recipes from contributors across the country, including Eaton Hemp, LLC (JD Farms), Hudson Hemp, and Local 111 Restaurant in the Hudson Valley.

Note from Freya Dobson, co-founder of Hudson Hemp:

 For those wishing to add CBD oil to the pesto, I recommend adding 10 milligrams of Treaty Balance per serving. Treaty’s parent company is Hudson Hemp. The Balance formula includes only the farm’s proprietary organic hemp, grown and processed at our regenerative farm. It’s the simplest formula for experiencing the benefits of broad-spectrum hemp extract in isolation.


3 or 4 medium cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped

3 tablespoons organic raw pine nuts, walnuts, or cashews

1 cup fresh organic hemp leaves, woody stems removed, lightly packed

1 cup fresh organic basil leaves, lightly packed

1/2 cup coarsely chopped organic kale leaves, stems and inner ribs removed and discarded, lightly packed

Juice of 1 lemon, or to taste

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil or hemp seed oil

3 tablespoons nutritional yeast, or to taste

Pink Himalayan sea salt, fine-grain

Freshly ground black pepper


Process the garlic and pine nuts in a food processor until minced. Add the hemp, basil, kale, and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice, and process until well combined. While the food processor is running, slowly add the oil in a steady stream until well blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Spoon the pesto into a decorative bowl and fold in the nutritional yeast. Adjust seasonings with additional lemon juice and nutritional yeast, if desired. Season with salt and pepper to taste. To serve, spread on toasted bread rounds topped with sliced cherry tomatoes or lightly drizzle pesto over and around your favorite eggs.

The pesto can be stored in the refrigerator, covered with a thin layer of olive oil, for up to 2 days.

Raw hemp leaves are rich in cannabidiolic acid (CBDa). It is a nonintoxicating, inactive cannabinoid. When CBDa is heated (activated) through a process known as decarboxylation, it converts to CBD. Since this recipe uses raw hemp leaves that have not gone through a decarboxylation or extraction process, CBD is not present.

Hudson Valley Restaurant Week is back this April 8-21!