A Squared: Just For Fun: Tree Nut-Free Basil Pesto

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Just For Fun: Tree Nut-Free Basil Pesto

On a few occasions I have told you about my not-so-green thumb. I have a long sad history of planting herbs with great expectations of a summer full of herbaceous dishes, only to watch every one of my plants die. Sometimes I would even replant them only to have the new plant die within a few weeks.

I am pleased to say that it is now September and I officially kept all of my herb plants alive for the whole summer. Maybe it was that we traveled less so I was able to care for them more, maybe it was the more mild weather, or maybe I am learning... whatever it is, I will take it. My newly green thumb has yielded a ton of herbs this summer, which have lent themselves really well to some very flavorful cooking. And when your garden hands you an enormous bounty of basil, make pesto!

You may also recall that my poor husband is allergic to pine nuts, so traditional pesto doesn't fly in this house. I have found that subbing in roasted sunflower kernels works really well in place of tree nuts in pesto recipes. You get that same nutty flavor and crunchy texture without the risk of allergic reactions. I made a big batch of this to freeze and use at a later date-- on pastas, pizzas, sandwiches, whisked into a vinaigrette or marinade. Pesto is such a great freezer staple-- especially if you love Italian flavors. The possibilities are endless!

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 Tbs. roasted salted sunflower kernels
  • 1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
  • 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano, grated

Add basil leaves, garlic, sunflower seeds, and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Puree until smooth while slowly streaming in 1/2 cup olive oil. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and refrigerate. Once completely chilled, slowly stir in the grated cheeses. After fully incorporating the cheese, stir in the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil.

If you're not using the pesto right away it can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. It also keeps well in the freezer and can be frozen for a few weeks before thawing and eating.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...