Everyone loves pesto! It’s so fragrant, fresh and delicious. I always make sure I have a few jars in the cupboard (we sell these organic ones) for those days when we need a meal in a hurry. Pesto pasta has got to be the best ‘fast-fakeaway’ right? And it’s not just for pasta! Pesto is brilliant in a sandwich or wrap, it’s also gorgeous tossed through steamed greens, boiled new potatoes or as a dressing for a hearty bean or lentil salad. Swirl a spoon through some mayo or hummus for the best dip ever!
But, I also love making my own pesto! It’s so easy to do and you can adapt the ingredients to whatever you have on hand. It’s also a brilliant way to avoid food waste as it makes fresh herbs last longer. Don’t chuck those herb stalks either! They are just as delicious as the leaves and blend up into perfect pesto!
Ingredients (makes about a 250g jar of pesto)
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 bunch of basil – stalks and all – sub with other fresh herbs or even spinach/kale/rocket…
- 3 tbsp or so of nutritional yeast (or use any cheese you like)
- the juice of 1/2 a lemon or more to taste (or use a tbsp of my preserved lemon puree recipe here for extra low-food-waste points)
- salt and pepper to taste
- extra virgin olive oil – enough to blend the ingredients into a loose sauce
- 8 tbsp or so of hemp hearts (alternatively use any nuts or seeds you have)
- Add the ingredients to a blender or food processor and pulse into a loose sauce.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed with more salt, nutritional yeast, lemon, olive oil etc.
- Store in a clean jar in the fridge and use within two weeks.
- To make it last longer, top with a little layer of olive oil. You can also freeze the pesto in portions if you won’t use it in the next two weeks.