Easy Nut-Free Pesto
A staple of pasta dishes, the saviour of the mid-week dinner in a dash and an all-round tasty thing to keep in, yet no supermarkets seem to stock a nut-free version? Fortunately, you won't notice a difference without the nuts. This makes a fairly big batch (enough to put in a big pasta bake type dish and to feed the snacking habits of a family of 4 on top of that) so it is ideal for freezing for those rainy-day, last minute meals. If a big batch is going to overface you, feel free to halve the quantities
- 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.