Friday, March 21, 2014

Blow-your-mind dairy free pesto

The purists will tell you pesto without parmesan is not real pesto. Well more for me then because this 'pesto' that I've taken to making is not just good, it's knock your socks off, blow your hair back, bring you to your knees kinda good.

Lately I've been trying to stay mostly gluten and dairy free (except my Greek yoghurt, I can't do without that, I've tried and it's never going to happen) and instead of reducing my options, I actually have found that it has expanded my life. Not only am I trying new recipes, I'm reading new blogs, experimenting with new cooking techniques and the variety of food I eat has expanded greatly. My diet has always been pretty balanced - I'm rather health conscious and I love good food - I'm just trying new fresh foods and raw food combinations and that can only be a good thing, right?

Anyway, onto the pesto, what you see up there is practically all that goes into it, it's easy peasy.

Bunch of basil (couple handfuls of leaves)
Handful of nuts (pine, almonds, cashews, walnuts - choose your favourite)
Small clove of garlic (raw)
Extra virgin olive oil (the real thing - the Cobram olive oil you see above is extraordinary)
Squeeze of lemon
Sea salt to taste

Stick everything in a food processor. Start lightly with the oil, salt and lemon and taste it along the blitzing process to adjust to your taste. You'll need enough liquid in the form of the oil and juice (about 1/4 cup) to get things blending properly.

Blend to your favourite consistency. For example, if I'm going to use it in a pasta, I leave it a little course because I prefer some crunch from the nuts. If I'm going to use it as a salad dressing, sandwich spread or marinade (it's amazing with chicken, prawns or white fish), I will blend it into a smooth paste.

Once finished, it's like sunshine in a jar and you will likely not go back to the cheesy oil pesto again.

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