My beautiful sister has been busily gardening and came around with 1 kilo of vibrant sweet basil!
Pesto is super easy to make and will give your dishes an instant lift and flavour boost.
I made a massive batch of pesto; some to freeze for the colder months, some to keep for now and a few jars to give away.
Pesto is a lush flavour bomb full of essential vitamins and minerals, so it’s not only tasty but really good for you.
Garlic is a powerful natural antibiotic and antioxidant (my Dad insists on eating several cloves a day and doesn’t catch colds).
Basil contains important nutrients and is high in vitamin K as well as having anti-inflammatory properties.
250g washed basil leaves
200g raw organic nuts ( I used pine nuts, cashew, and Macadamia). Sunflower kernels work well too and are cheaper than pine nuts.
4 garlic cloves
1/2 cup organic cold pressed olive oil
1 lemon – juice and zest
1/4 T Himalayan crystal salt (or other good quality salt)
pinch of pepper ( I used Szechwan)
Pulverise everything to the consistency you like.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with flavours and blitzing times to create delicious versatile pastes. Try adding herbs such as dill, and coriander or flavour with chillies or pecorino (omit the salt if adding cheese as it may be too salty). I have been known to add Kale and Rocket for a super green nutrient boost.
Note: Cashew and Macadamia nuts create a creamier and richer consistency whereas pine nuts and sunflower kernels balance the richness and add more body and texture. Play around and get creative.
Storage: Freezing is a great way to preserve for future use, especially if you are making large batches. I placed some in ice cube trays for perfect little portions to toss into soups, stews, risottos. To store in fridge simply top jars with olive oil so that the pesto is fully immersed and seal. This will extend the life of your pesto and stop mould growing.