What do you do when you find big bags of fresh fragrant basil at the farmers market and know you have some unused walnuts in the shell and quality olive oil from Italy at home? Make pesto of-course! It’s much better when made at home than bought at the supermarket. The vast majority of store bought pestos contain minimal amounts of actual olive oil, and instead are mostly made of processed vegetable oils (which turns a potentially healthy food into junk). Even if it says ‘olive oil’ on the label, always check the ingredients!
Pesto is super easy…it’s just a matter of blending up some nuts, basil and olive oil. I don’t bother measuring anything; you can adjust the ratios of ingredients to make it more pasty or runny, more nutty or green, etc. I don’t use Parmesan cheese mainly because I never have any, so this recipe is dairy free to boot! I sometimes eat it with rice pasta on a “higher carb” day, or with eggs or roast vegetables. Here’s a rough recipe:
Approx 1/2 cup shelled walnuts
1 big raw garlic clove
A few handfuls of fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
1) Process the walnuts in a food processor until it forms a semi smooth nut butter
2) Add the garlic, basil and oil and blend further
3) Add more oil to get the consistency you want, then salt to taste
4) Store in the fridge with a layer of olive oil poured over the top to prevent the basil from oxidising.