There really isn’t any better smell than when you bring home fresh basil. . .ok, I’m sure that’s arguable. But it’s still a pretty awesome smell. This is why I love making pesto so much. The smell of basil takes over your kitchen, mixed with the smell of roasted garlic, and, well. Yum.
So the Basil Pesto recipe that I usually use includes parmesan cheese…which sadly, is a big “no, no” on the Whole Life Challenge. . .as I sit here and sip my wine while I write this. . .also a “no, no” but once a week. Eating according to this challenge shouldn’t be hard, but adhering to the one glass of wine a week rule. . .well, I might just need a shoulder to cry on. Anyway. Because of the cheese factor, I had to do a little recipe adjusting. Luckily this pesto is just as delicious as the with-cheese version. I know that’s hard to believe, but I really didn’t notice a significant difference at all. On to the how to’s.
Nutritionals: Vegan, Paleo, WLC Compliant (Performance), gluten free, dairy free
This is pretty short and simple, so I’ll try to not waste your time so you can get to eating this delicious green stuff.
First, throw your garlic in a pan and roast on medium high for about five minutes. Just go ahead and leave the cloves unpeeled. After you roast them, the skins will slide right off magically. This was one of the best discoveries I’ve made this month. Hands down. After about five mins, add your pine nuts. The nuts will brown a lot quicker than your garlic, so that’s why you add your garlic first. That was probably self explanatory. Here I am, wasting your time. You could be hangry. I’m sorry.
Roast your garlic and pine nuts until browned, then throw them in the fridge to cool for a few minutes while you gather your basil.
This recipe renders a 12oz mason jar filled with pesto, so that means you are going to need a seemingly unGodly amount of basil. It’s worth it. I promise. Gather 6 cups of packed basil. I like to call it harvesting my basil. It makes me feel like a farmer. But I’m not. I bought it at Sprouts. I don’t even own overalls.
Put your basil, cooled nuts and garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice into your favorite blender or food processor. We have the ninja and it’s awesome. It’s absolutely one of my most used kitchen appliances. AND it’s a fourth of the price of the Vitamix. I’m not trying to bash the Vitamix. I’m sure it’s awesome. I’m just saying that I’ve never had a culinary moment where I was like, “I wish I had bought a Vitamix instead of the Ninja”. Ok I’m rambling again.
Blend ingredients until they are smooth. Taste, and add salt to fit your own taste buds. Depending on the flavor of the roasted nuts/garlic, you might not need that much salt.
If you aren’t using your pesto right away (or in like, the next few days), add a little olive oil to the top of your sauce in your mason jar. This will help preserve your yummy green stuff a hair longer.
And…Last but certainly not least, if you make this delish dish, snap a photo and share it with me on twitter (@Tummyhasahappy) or instagram (@mytummyhasahappy) with the hashtag- #mytummyhasahappy
I love to see what turned out in your kitchen!
- 6 Cups Basil, packed
- 6 cloves of garlic
- ¾ cup plus one 1 Tbsp pine nuts
- ¾ Cup olive oil
- juice of ½ lemon
- salt to taste
- Toast unpeeled garlic in skillet for 5 minutes, then add pine nuts. Continue to toast garlic and pine nuts until nuts are browned.
- Allow to cool
- Fill blender with basil, garlic, nuts, olive oil and lemon juice and blend until smooth.
- Salt to taste