Saturday, August 25, 2012

Nut-free pesto

There's no better use for fresh basil than basil pesto, IMO. We love pesto around here; my daughter's been eating it on pasta since she was a little girl. I like it on pizza, drizzled on sliced ripe tomatoes, on a cracker with a smidge of goat cheese, and sometimes, right off the spoon.

Today when I went to make pesto, I discovered I was out of nuts. But I did have sunflower seeds, so I took a leap of faith (despite my daughter's disapproving look) and used them instead of pine nuts. And guess what? We LOVED this pesto. I think this will be great for my nut-free clients as well. We decided to make pesto pizza; here's my pesto-lover wrestling with the dough:

Nut-Free Pesto
Makes about 1 cup

1/4 cup olive oil, plus about 2 T. more
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 T. sunflower seeds
1 - 2 cloves garlic
about 40 leaves fresh basil
squeeze of lemon juice
salt and pepper

Place 1/4 cup oil, cheese, seeds, garlic and basil in bowl of small food processor or Vitamix. Process until roughly chopped. Drizzle in a little more oil until the pesto is the consistency you desire. Taste and season with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pesto will keep in the fridge for several days and the freezer for a few months.

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