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Anise Hyssop Pesto with Grilled Shrimp and Spaghetti

Anise hyssop is one of my favorite perennial herbs. It has a tidy and tall growth habit, and its delicate purple flowers are delicious. They can be left to overwinter for some added visual interest that breaks up the white wintry scene. From a flavor perspective, it takes you on a roller coaster ride from sweet anise to cool peppery mint and back. I love steeping them for refreshing iced tea and cocktails, tossing them into salads, and of course, making them into pesto and serving them with seafood.

anise hyssop pesto spaghetti with grilled shrimp


1/2 cup basil

1 1/2 cups anise hyssop (with flowers) + extra for garnishing

1 clove of garlic

1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup grated parmesan

1 pinch of sea salt

1 pound of shrimp

1 package of spaghetti


  1. Light and preheat the BBQ.

  2. Pick leaves and flowers from the stems. Rinse and dry the herbs.

  3. In a food processor, pulse the herbs, crushed garlic clove, and toasted pine nuts until they form a paste.

  4. Slowly stream in the olive oil.

  5. Fold in the grated parmesan and salt.

  6. Cook the spaghetti according to package directions.

  7. Skewer the shrimp, brush them with olive oil, and season with coarse salt.

  8. BBQ the shrimp over direct heat, approximately 2 minutes per side.

  9. Toss the spaghetti with the pesto.

  10. Serve the pasta in a shallow bowl with a skewer of shrimp and reserved anise hyssop flowers and leaves. Delicious when served with a raw lemon fennel salad.

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