Monday, July 22, 2013

Dairy Free Basil Pesto

Who doesn't love a good pesto sauce?  It's one of my all time favorite sauces.  I love it with pasta or just over some steamed veggies.  It's also amazing on top of some crusty bread.

Unfortunately for my kiddos, pesto usually contains cheese.  Fortunately, it's super easy to make your own and it's just as delicious minus the dairy!  I could probably eat an entire batch of fresh pesto if left alone with it!

Last week I got this massive bunch of basil from our CSA that was just begging to be made into pesto.  Right now basil is growing like crazy and it's super cheap so it's a great time to stock up.  If you don't have any growing, look for it at your local farmer's market in bulk, you'll get the most bang for your buck.

The great thing about pesto is that it freezes well so you can make a huge batch and use it whenever you need it!  The following recipe will make enough for a large pasta dish.  You can also freeze it in ice cube trays for some individual servings.

And a final note on oxidation: If you want to keep your pesto nice and green, blanch your basil prior to making the pesto.  This will kill those pesky enzymes that turn it brown.  If you're making a large batch you might want to do this, but I didn't bother this time around.

Dairy Free Pesto

1 1/2 cups (packed) of basil
1/4 cup of pine nuts
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup of olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic
1 ½ tsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp sea salt
Pinch of pepper

Place garlic in a food processor and process until finely chopped.

Add basil, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, lemon, sea salt and pepper and pulse until smooth.

Scrape down the sides as needed.

Slowly add in olive oil.

Taste and add more salt if desired.

To avoid oxidation (if your basil isn't blanched), store your pesto covered with a layer of olive oil in the fridge until you're ready to use it.

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