Mary Poppins used a spoonful of sugar; I use a spoonful of pesto to make everything go do-own.
Classic pesto is pretty simple at its core: basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, salt and olive oil. I always make mine dairy-free sans the cheese and find that it’s still incredibly delicious. I use locally-sourced basil (because I’m rubbish at growing it), local Pinoli pine nuts, Marlborough garlic and olive oil (we pick olives that are pressed into oil). But let’s be honest: That’s a lot of expensive ingredients (also the reason for pesto’s high price tag in shops). You can “fill” your pesto with spinach to add nutrition and make it stretch a bit further. You can sub in walnuts, especially if you have a place to pick them off the ground for free.
Makes 1 cup
2 c. basil (stems are fine)
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 c. pine nuts
1 tsp salt
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
Toast pine nuts: On medium heat, add nuts to a small pan. Shake the pan every minute or so, to turn nuts. Watch them carefully as they can burn easily. They will only take 3-4 minutes to brown. Allow to cool.
In a food processor with a small cup attachment (you can do this with a stick blender or a blender as well), add the basil, garlic, salt, nuts and about 2 tbsp of the oil. Whizz it until all the basil is chopped up; scrape down the sides and add half of the remaining oil. Whizz again; repeat the scraping and add the rest of the oil, whizz again.
Store in a jar in the refrigerator for 7-10 days or freeze for three months.
Gluten free. Low-lectin. Dairy free. Plant based. Vegan.