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Traditional Pesto

By Teresa Cutter

Traditional Pesto
Traditional Pesto

What's great about it

What I love about this pesto is it's freshness - giving life and vitality to almost any savoury dish imaginable. It can turn a plain vegetable soup into something spectacular or make a masterpiece out of simple roasted vegetableslasagne or bolognese. Herbs such as parsley, basil, coriander and mint work best and you can also incorporate other greens such as spinach, kale and broccoli as well as very small amounts of super-greens such as wheatgrass or alfalfa to help boost chlorophyl. Traditionally lightly toasted pine nuts and olive oil are used to add flavour and body as well as emulsify - but I love to experiment and use different nuts, oils and seeds such as macadamia for a velvety richness - walnuts for added body and omega 3 or pumpkin seed for a boost of zinc. There are also times where I don't add any nuts or seeds at all.

Ingredients

Makes 1 jar

1 large bunch parsley
1 large bunch basil
1 clove garlic
1 - 2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
4 tablespoons your choice cold pressed olive oil, macadamia nut oil, walnut oil or flaxseed oil

Method

 

  1. Combine all the ingredients into a food processor or a high performance blender like a Vitamix.
  2. Process until the herbs have been finely chopped and mixture forms a lovely green paste.
  3. Enjoy.

The important secret to making pesto is having a gentle hand and using aromatics such as garlic and lemon with care. It's best to start off with a little then add as you go - otherwise there's no turning back. 1 clove of garlic is often sufficient otherwise you'll overpower your masterpiece.

Notes and Inspiration

Add small handful walnuts, macadamias or pumpkin seeds for body, crunch and good anti-inflammatory benefits.

Add small knob grated parmesan.

Add 1/2 teaspoon wheatgrass powder for a chlorophyll boost.

Use coriander or thai basil for Asian style dishes and add a little ginger and chilli.

Use greens such as parsley, mint, rocket, broccoli or spinach as an alternative to my basil + parsley combo.

 Spoon over steamed green vegetables or green pea fritters.

Serve with cinnamon roasted sweet potato.

Serve with Earth Burgers or Salmon Burgers.

Fold through perfect scrambled eggs.

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