Sunday, September 11, 2022

Pesto with My Garden's Basil

Pesto made with pine nuts and basil is a classic sauce for a good reason. For one thing, it smells heavenly! The bright green is enticing, too. Best of all are the robust flavors. Since I'm still not eating cheeses, I made my sauce without Parmesan cheese, but I did add nutritional yeast, plus lemon juice and zested lemon peel. Those added some complexity and the lemon added zing. 

My basil started to flower, so it was time to harvest...perhaps past time. Once rinsed, I stripped the leaves off the stem (even tiny ones) and didn't use the flowers. You need a cup, packed, so that's a lot of basil.

One of the keys to this recipe is to use a food processor and to scrape down the sides frequently so that all of the ingredients are incorporated.

This is an intensely flavored sauce, so use sparingly at first until you are familiar with the intensity.

I lightly coated cooked tortellini with this pesto and it was soooo delicious!

No Cheese Pesto

1 cup, packed, fresh basil leaves...stems discarded
2/3 cup toasted pine nuts
1teaspoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon lemon zest
juice from a lemon
1/3 cup olive oil, or to taste
salt and pepper to taste

In a food processor bowl fitted with the steel blade place the basil, pine nuts, nutritional yeast, lemon zest and lemon juice. Process until fairly smooth, scraping down sides as needed. With machine running, use the feed tube and add the olive oil in a thin stream until pesto is to your liking. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve at once.

Leftover can be stored in a small glass jar. Pour a little additional olive oil gently to create a thin layer of oil on top of the pesto. This keep air out and prevents the pesto from turning brown.

1 comment :

  1. This heat did in my poor sage - it's flowered and so I think I need to pesto it up as well - with some blanched toasted walnuts and garlic, parsley and a tangy goat cheese (vegan or otherwise).