* Newsflash * : You don’t need cheese to make a perfect pesto!
It’s true, I promise you. You don’t notice that it isn’t there, it still packs an incredibly delicious punch of flavour. A true knockout. And in cutting out the cheese you knock off an awful lot of unnecessary calories. You’re so welcome.
This is more of a pistou than a pesto, although it isn’t technically because we are using nuts. But no matter what the name is, this is one little recipe you need to have in your repertoire.
I just got back from a little holiday to Spain and whilst we were there, I whipped this up a couple of times as it’s just so versatile. I love it tossed with roasted vegetables, or stirred through quinoa, drizzled over an avocado salad, or mixed with brown rice pasta. Your imagination is the only limit with this little beauty.
It also keeps for a good 4 days or so in the fridge, so it’s a very useful thing to have hanging around so you can make an amazing meal at just a moments notice.
It is something I make on a pretty much daily basis, both for myself and for my cooking jobs. I just bung everything in the food processor in a routine I could do blindfolded and probably handcuffed. But on holiday, my friends were all asking how to make it and it made me remember that pesto isn’t something we are born knowing. It made me sit down and think about what I am actually putting in and so I have come up with my recipe for you!
Once you’ve made it a handful of times, you won’t need a recipe anymore and your cooking will be transformed! Hurrah!
This is just a basic recipe, where I have used basil and walnuts.
BUT, the basil can be substituted for a whole host of things, mint (see this recipe), coriander, rocket, watercress….and the nuts can be anything from pine nuts, almonds, macadamia…you can’t go wrong. Now that’s a fun kind of cooking.
- 1 cup (ANY cup) of basil, don't smoosh it in, just put it in
- ½ cup (the same cup) walnuts
- 1 large clove garlic
- ½ cup oil
- GENEROUS pinch of Maldon sea salt
- Bung everything into the food processor and blitz until it looks like... pesto!
- I am not joking around when I say it needs a generous pinch of salt. In pesto normally, the parmesan provides a lot of the saltiness and flavour, and so we need to compensate for the lack of that with a good sprinkling of salt.
- The first head chef I trained under told me the main difference between home cooked food and restaurant standard food is the seasoning. And he's so right, it all starts with the seasoning...which is a good thing, as that is a very easy thing to learn!
- You can adjust the amount of olive oil depending on what you're using it for and how drizzly you need/want it to be.
Please please just promise me you will never ever buy the jarred pesto you can get in supermarkets. It has as much relation to proper pesto as I do to a prawn sandwich. It’s also packed full of rubbish. Promise me?! Make this just once and you’ll never look back!
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Oh and I forgot to tell you about the new love in my life….I think he deserves a whole blog post which will come soon. But in the mean time, let me introduce you to the Kitchen Wizz Pro. Since he arrived, my grannies magi mix has been cowering in the corner crying. After years of loyal service, I have ditched it for a younger toy boy. I am so fickle! It’s suffice to say that the Kitchen Wizz Pro has changed my life, and I’m not even exaggerating! Find out more about it here.