Almond Basil Pesto

Zesty Almond Basil Pesto

This homemade Almond Basil Pesto is decadent, rich and so versatile; adding interest to the simplest of dishes!  This fragrant recipe is not for the faint-hearted but it guarantees to pack a nutritional punch! Almonds as a base provide more protein and fibre than the traditional pine nuts and also give it a slightly crunchier texture. Making your own means that it is much lower in salt than shop bought varieties and infinitely tastier!

To Make this Zesty Almond Basil Pesto you’ll need…..

  • 100g Parmesan, grated
  • 100g Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 80g Basil
  • 50g Almonds, ground
  • 6 large cloves Garlic
  • Juice of half a Lemon
  • Salt & Pepper

Simply…

Put the basil and garlic in a food processor and blend until well ground. Add the ground almonds, olive oil and lemon juice and pulse a few times until well combined. Check seasoning.

Tips:

  • Ideally you will be using a powerful blender such as a Thermomix or Nutribullet, to make sure that you have an evenly ground pesto
  • Take care with seasoning as the parmesan is already salty
  • I like to make up a batch and leave it in the fridge. This pesto will keep in the fridge for up to 10 days; the parmesan, lemon and olive oil act as a preservative and keep it fresher for longer
  • For a more zesty pesto, use more lemon juice; ideal with fish or pasta
  • You can vary the nuts; any nut will work well as long as it is finely ground
  • You can also vary the herb; parsley, rocket or watercress work particularly well

This Pesto is SO versatile:

  • Simply add as a topping to a white fish or Salmon fillet and bake in the oven
  • Mix in with some roasted vegetables and quinoa/pasta
  • Add a spoonful to a soup when serving
  • Use as a stuffing for Butternut Squash or Marrow; scoop out middle and spoon in the pesto. Bake in the oven until soft

Nutritional Nugget:

Garlic belongs to the “Allium” family and is closely related to onions, shallots and leeks. It’s use and health benefits have been long documented across many civilisations. The active ingredient, Allicin, responsible for it’s health benefits is released when raw garlic is crushed, chopped or chewed and this gives garlic it’s distinctive smell. Cooking garlic is thought to reduce these health benefits, which include lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart disease. There is some evidence to support these suggestions but further research is needed. CLICK HERE for a review of the evidence.

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