Creamy Basil Pesto
It’s near on impossible to find pesto in a supermarket or deli that doesn’t contain parmesan - and being an avid basil-pesto-pasta fan, this was an issue.
Problem was, I used to think pesto was incomplete without parmesan. That you couldn’t get that deep, creamy flavour without cheese. Turns out I couldn’t have been more wrong. It’s also one of those dishes that looks like it was way more complicated to make than it really was. Homemade pesto literally takes five minutes to whizz together.
I’ll generally toss this through a fettuccine pasta with some fresh cherry tomatoes and baby spinach. But you can also add it to risotto, quinoa or salad! Not only is it super versatile, but the nuts will help keep you full and the raw garlic is great for fighting those winter bugs. Enjoy!
250g fresh basil
100g cashews, unsalted
50g pine nuts, unsalted
3 cloves of garlic (more/less to your taste)
Half a lemon
Extra virgin olive oil
(Sidenote, you will need a hand-whizz or food processor. We bought a hand whizz off Amazon for about $30. You don’t need anything fancy and will end up using it in so many other dishes!)
Combine your dry ingredients in a bowl (something with high sides, to avoid mess)
Pour in a generous helping of olive oil - there’s no measurements for this, but you’ll need a fair amount to whizz the dry ingredients into a paste
Add a splash of boiling water to help soften the nuts and make everything slightly more malleable
You’ll probably need to add more olive oil as you go - this isn’t a problem as it adds to the flavour (you can always add a splash more water for moisture but be careful not to water it down too much)
Don’t forget to taste - have you got enough garlic? Salt? If either flavour is too strong, don’t worry, you can add more nuts to smooth it over. I always leave my pesto tasting slightly too garlicky as the flavour won’t be nearly as strong once you’ve tossed it through a dish, but if you’re using it as a dip then try and get the flavour exactly right
Add the juice from half a lemon once you’ve got the flavour right - it lifts the sauce up a level and adds a nice zesty flavour
You’re done! How easy was that? Not to mention the $8 you just saved at the supermarket