Pesto Pesto Pesto!

One of my favourite accompaniments to pasta and grilled veg, pesto is a fantastic base that will soon become a firm favourite I am sure

Below is a list of a few of my favourites. But the possibilities are literally endless for what you can make yours out of. The key ingredients to any pesto are:

  • nuts/seeds
  • cheese
  • oil
  • veg
  • seasoning (chilli for some heat, salt & pepper)

WalnutRicotta Pesto (serves 6)

Ingredients:

  • 1 garlic clove, cut in half, green shoot removed
  • 2 tablespoons shelled walnuts (about 3/4 ounce)
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh ricotta
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated veggie Parmesan, plus additional for sprinkling (Pecorino can be substituted for some of the Parmesan)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon walnut oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Method:

1. Turn on your food processor fitted with the steel blade and drop in the garlic. If looking for something easier you can pre-mince with a press. Make sure it is thoroughly minced, then turn it off and scrape down the bowl to make sure it gets mixed in with the rest of the ingredients. Then add your walnuts, basil, and process to a paste. Throw in the ricotta, roughly 2 tablespoons warm water, and cheese & pulse until well blended. Add the olive & walnut oils & process until smooth and evenly mixed. You can also make this in a mortar and pestle if you want an extra arm workout. Taste and add pepper & salt as desired. Transfer to a wide bowl if serving right away or in a jar with some oil on top if storing.

Coriander/Cilantro Pesto (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups fresh cilantro/coriander
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts *put in a warm frying pan toast until fragrant, roughly 5 minutes
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/3 cup veggie parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup olive oil

Method:

  1. Add the coriander/cilantro, pine nuts, garlic to a food processor. Purée, add the cheese and process. With the food processor running add the olive oil. Process until combined

Basil Pesto

Ingredients:Yield one cup

  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated veggie Pecorino cheese

Method:

  1. Combine your basil, garlic, and pine nuts in your food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.-If using immediately, add all remaining oil & pulse that bad boy until smooth. Transfer the pesto to your large serving bowl and mix in the cheese.

    -If freezing, transfer to an air-tight container and drizzle remaining oil over the top. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and stir in cheese.

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

Ingredients:

  • 1 (8.5-ounce) jar sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup toasted pinenuts
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated veggie Parmesan

Method:

  1. blend the sun-dried tomatoes and the oil they came in, garlic, salt & pepper, to taste, plus the basil in your food processor and blend until the tomatoes are finely chopped. Make sure everything is incorporated.

Broccoli Pesto

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 mug of toasted walnuts
  • 1 mug cubed Feta cheese
  • 4 handfuls raw broccoli
  • glug of olive oil
  • sea salt to taste
  • chilli to taste

Method:

  1. Throw the broccoli, walnut and feta in the food processor & whizz up! As the food processor is running, pop in the olive oil and seasoning and viola!

Superfood Pesto

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 mug toasted pine nuts
  • 1 mug veggie Parmesan cheese
  • 4 handfuls of spinach/Kale/cavolo nero
  • sea salt
  • pepper
  • srpinkle of chilli
  • 1 tsp hemp seed powder
  • glug olive oil

Method:

  1. Throw everything except the olive oil, whizz it up, then get to your desired consistency.

Enjoy! Each only takes 10 min max to make 🙂 No excuses 😉

Sources: Abel & Cole & Food Network

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