Pesto! Gorgeous, green and so flavourful, it’s the perfect meat or veggie topper. Plus it makes a wonderful, vibrant salad dressing. It’s just the best! Can you tell how much I love pesto?
Of course, you could buy your favourite pesto from the store but it’s so simple to make at home. This way you will always have some on hand, plus you’ll know exactly what’s in it. You can add flavour enhancers like sun-dried tomatoes or kalamata olives; and choose the best quality ingredients you can afford. Italian olive oil, fresh, organic basil and organic nuts.
Speaking of nuts, I often get asked whether purchasing organic nuts is important. Can you just buy the regular non-organic variety? Well, the answer is, when it comes to nuts, organic matters.
Pesticides, herbicides and other toxins which are often sprayed on non-organic produce are fat-soluble. High oil content in nuts means these toxins are easily deposited and stored inside the tasty edible part, which we then eat, along with the toxins.
Cashews are sprayed with endosulfan which is a highly toxic to humans and animals. Pistachios may be treated with a chemical called phosmat. A study at Cornell University found that phosmat causes liver tumors and carcinoma. Walnuts are particularly sensitive to pests and as a result, are saturated with pesticides which are absorbed into the nut.
In addition, these toxins are not only dangerous for us, the eater, but also for the farmers and surrounding residents where these nuts are grown and sprayed. Not to mention the surrounding wide life and animals; crucial creatures like honey bees. So for your own health, the health of others and the health of the planet; when it comes to nuts, buy organic!
Once you’ve armed yourself with some organic walnuts, get ready for the tastiest pesto you’ve ever tried! And believe me, you won’t even know it’s dairy-free. It’s perfect for summer BBQ’s. Simply slather it onto your favourite barbecued meats like these Dill & Feta Burgers or try it in a delicious potato or pasta salad, instead of mayonnaise. You’ll be surprised how flavoursome and delicious your meals will be with this vibrant pesto.
Basil and Walnut Pesto
1 bunch of basil
1 lemon, juice and zest
1/2 cup of olive oil
1 clove of garlic
1/2 cup of organic walnuts
2 big handfuls of spinach
Pinch of salt and pepper
- Add all ingredients to a food processor, except lemon juice and seasoning, and blend.
- You may need to stop and scrap down the sides.
- Once creamy, add lemon juice, salt and pepper to your taste and pulse to combine.
NOTE: This pesto will last for 7-10 days in the fridge and up to 6 months in the freezer. For added freshness, pour a layer of olive oil on top, before storing in the fridge.