Easy Nut-Free Pesto
- Food Processor
- 200 grams Fresh Basil
- 175 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 140 grams Sundried Tomatoes (That is the drained weight. I used a small jar of sundried tomatoes from Tesco that was 285g originally)
- 50 grams Sunflower Seeds or Pumpkin Seeds Optional
- Pecorino cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Garlic cloves, or 1tbsp of garlic olive oil
- 1 tbsp Lemon juice Fresh or out of a bottle
- Step 1: Wash the basil and place into a food processor with the drained sundried tomatoes, garlic (or garlic oil) and the seeds. Add the lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil then blitz for a few seconds until everything is fairly smooth.
- Step 2: At this point, you will need to use your eye and put your taste buds to the test. Add more olive oil if desired until it reaches the right consistency when blended.
- Step 3: If making dairy-free / vegan, skip the next part or use your preferred cheese substitute. For the cheese-lovers, you will now want to grate in a decent amount of pecorino cheese. I do this to taste and, in this instance, I believe that less is NOT more. Regardless, go slowly and add bit by bit. Season well with pepper but only a tiny pinch of salt if using the cheese, more if not.
- Step 4: Enjoy your pesto and store in jars or tupperwear in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze by pouring into an ice cube tray and it's good for up to 6 months.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. Whilst I myself don’t have a nut-allergy, my sister does and – to cut a long story short – I almost accidentally killed her off a few years ago when her favourite pesto brand (that sounds weird, who has a favourite pesto brand? You know what I mean though) suddenly changed recipe. It used to be made with pine nuts which she never had an issue with, but they changed the recipe to cashews. I’ll let you fill in the rest! As it stands, she is absolutely fine now but we don’t chance it with pesto anymore, not even the pine-nut ones.
What I love most about my sister is that she is bluntly, often BRUTALLY, honest and will tell me if what I’ve cooked is good or absolute dog s***. Needless to say, she loves this pesto a lot and it’s come a long way since my first batches which ‘tasted like earth’ and were ‘bordering on inedible’, in her own words. Charming.
All in all, I think this is a great sauce and it features in my next level lasagna recipe that is coming up very shortly. Until next time, drop us a like or a comment if you enjoyed this recipe