Recipe Corner: CBD Pesto

Recipe Corner: CBD Pesto

Summer is in full swing in Vermont and the plants are loving this warm weather. Now that our hemp plants are happy and thriving, we can turn our focus to processing some of the other treats coming from the garden. 

Blueberries have been a pleasant treat along the walk to the vegetable garden. The tomato stakes need some love but the fruits are ripening up nicely. There are plenty of cucumbers ready to be picked. And the basil... oh, the basil!! It has been blowing up this past weekend and a major haircut is needed. With this much basil, a batch of pesto needs to be made!

One of my favorite ways to preserve this part of summer is making pesto. You can freeze it in an ice cube tray filled with individual servings to enjoy it all year long. Store the pesto cubes in a freezer bag and then during the cooler months, when you want a fresh twist to your BLT or pizza, just thaw a few pesto cubes and it will (almost) feel like summer again!

I am always trying to find creative ways to infuse food with CBD. Lily Hill's CBD Oil is made with organic extra virgin olive oil, making it a great addition to sauces and pestos. The flavor of the nuts in the pesto and the earthy flavor of Lily Hill CBD complement each other well.  I used the 1000mg CBD Oil (2mg/drop) in this recipe, but feel free to use any of our CBD Oils and adjust your dose as needed.

Not sure what to make with your pesto? One of my favorite ways to use it is in this Pesto Barley Summer Salad (recipe below). When timed right, you can get most of the ingredients straight from the garden or at your local farm stand. This infused dish makes an excellent side with grilled meats for a relaxing backyard dinner. It's also a refreshing change-up to your weekday lunch salad so you can have a focused and productive afternoon.

Enjoy the recipes! We would love to see how you used our CBD pesto so post a photo of your dish on Instagram and add the hashtag #lilyhillcbd.

Happy eating!

CBD pesto

CBD Pesto

  • Yield: 1 cup
  • 160 mg Lily Hill CBD 
  • Serving size -  1 tablespoon
  • 16 servings - 10 mg CBD/serving


  • ⅓ cup raw pine nuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans or pepitas (we prefer ½ almonds, ½ pine nuts)
  • 2 cup packed fresh basil leaves OR 1 cup basil / 1 cup spinach 
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 100 mg CBD 


  1. (Optional) Toast the nuts or seeds for extra flavor: In a medium skillet, toast the nuts/seeds over medium heat, stirring frequently (don’t let them burn!), until nice and fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Pour them into a bowl to cool for a few minutes.
  2. If you want a brighter pesto, quickly blanch the basil for 20-30 seconds.
  3. Combine the basil (& spinach, if using), nuts/seeds, Parmesan, lemon juice, garlic, CBD and salt in a food processor or blender. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Continue blending until the mixture is well blended but still has some texture, pausing to scrape down the sides as necessary.
  4. Taste, and adjust if necessary. Add a pinch of salt if the basil tastes too bitter or the pesto needs more zing. Add more parmesan if you’d like a creamier/cheesier pesto. If desired, you can thin out the pesto with more olive oil. 
  5. Store leftover pesto in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 1 week (or freeze).

Pesto Barley Summer Salad

  • Yield: 3 cups 
  • 120 mg Lily Hill CBD (from ¾ cup pesto)
  • Serving size -  ½ cup 
  • 6 servings - 20mg CBD/each


  • 1 ½ cups pearled or semi-pearled barley
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 garlic whole clove, skin removed
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 8 oz cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 oz sugar snap peas
  • ¾ cup CBD infused pesto
  • Handful of arugula, spinach, mizuna, young pea shoots or microgreens


  1. Place water in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Make sure to add plenty of water, otherwise the barley will get sticky. Add the salt, garlic and barley. Reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, until tender but still chewy. Drain the barley, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Discard the garlic and let the barley cool to room temperature.
  2. Combine the vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk until well blended. Set aside. 
  3. Pinch the stem ends off the sugar snap peas and pull to remove the center string. Then cut each pod in half lengthwise. Place in a medium bowl and add the tomatoes. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and toss until well coated. 
  4. Place the barley in a separate bowl. Add the pesto and stir until well blended.
  5. When plating, spoon the barley mixture into a serving bowl. Top with the sugar snap peas and tomatoes. Garnish with the baby greens and serve immediately.
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