One of the foods that I enjoyed in Italy last year was gluten free pasta with fresh basil pesto. Oh my, that dish quickly became a favorite meal. I’ve tried different plant based packaged pesto mixes in the past year, and while they were good, they couldn’t beat freshly made.
This summer, I grew more basil in my herb garden than I usually do, with the intention of making my own pesto. The plants are big enough and full enough now to snip leaves. After missing lunch today, I created my own fresh oil free basil pesto, for a meal that fell in between lunch and dinner. Lunner? Dinch?
Here’s the recipe I adapted:
Oil Free Basil Pesto
1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 ripe avocado
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup cashews
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons water
Blend basil leaves, avocado, garlic, cashews, and sea salt in food processor or high speed blender, until well combined. Add water a tablespoon at a time, until pesto is smooth and creamy. Serve over pasta or zucchini noodles. Garnish with cherry tomatoes.
I loved snipping basil from the garden for this recipe. This aromatic herb releases its scent whenever you touch the plant and I inhaled deeply as I gathered leaves.
The recipe was extremely easy to prepare. However, I had trouble getting the pesto smooth enough. The blades of my Ninja blender pushed the mixture to the sides and didn’t blend it well enough.
In hindsight, the pesto might have blended better if I had added more water. I was concerned with making it too thin. The other solution is to double the recipe next time so that the blades of my blender have more to bite into.
The result was a rather chunky oil free basil pesto. I prepared raw zucchini noodles with my spiralizer and topped them with my fresh basil pesto and cherry tomatoes from my veggie garden.
My pesto wasn’t the prettiest, in appearance. However, it tasted wonderful. The freshness of the basil was evident and I savored every bite. I have lots of basil growing in the garden. I’ll practice until I perfect fresh oil free basil pesto.