When it comes to pesto, the first thing you think about is pine nuts and parmesan cheese however, if you’ve got allergies to nuts, then it’s definitely something that’s not for you.
Add to that, the fact that you’re doing your best to live a more plant based life, well out of the window goes the traditional pesto so we’ve worked really hard to try and come up with a pesto that tastes as good as (if not better than) regular pesto.
It took a bit of trial and error but since we have perfected the recipe, it really has become a retreat favourite.
A few of the ingredients are from the original – basil, olive oil and garlic – but the rest, well we found the right balance of other ingredients to give you a pesto that you’ll simply love.
Rather than using pine nuts, we found that a combination of sunflower and pumpkin seeds provides just the right amount of flavour and even adds that “cheesy” tough to it too. They’re super simple to roast – simply throw them into a dry, hot frying pan and toss around until the start to change colour. They may also start to pop a little too so just be careful.
Add in some fresh spinach, giving you a big boost of much needed nutrients, as well as you traditional basil and well, it’s pretty good – which is what our guests tell us and many of them know because they’ve written down the recipe during our cookery demonstrations when we’ve shown them.
The best thing about pesto is that you can use it in SO many different ways but we’ll leave that for another time or we will be here all day.
SO ! It’s over to you now !!
Enjoy. And please let us know what you think in the comments section too.
20g Fresh Basil
1 Clove Garlic
125g Pumpkin Seeds
125g Sunflower Seeds
75ml Olive Oil
Juice of 2 Lemons
100g Fresh Spinach
½ tsp Sea Salt ( if not using toasted seeds )
Water (if needed)
Place the basil, spinach, garlic, lemon juice and oil into a blender and blend until smooth. We like to use a hand held blender as it’s just a lot easier.
Add in the toasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds and blend so that the seeds break up and a thick pesto is formed.
You can make it as “crunchy” or as “thin” as you like – we like ours with a little bit of crunch to it so we try not to blend it too much once the seeds are added in.
If you think your pesto is too think, simply add in a little bit of water.
Season to taste.
The pesto will last up to a week when stored in an air tight container in the fridge.