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EASY PEASY BASIL & PINE NUT PESTO

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Pesto is an incredibly versatile sauce that can be enjoyed in countless ways.  In addition to mixing it into pasta, noodles, rice and spiralized vegetables, I love to use it as a dip for crackers and crudités, a topping for toast, pizza, salad, eggs, and baked potatoes, or a flavour booster for proteins.

This is my go-to pesto recipe.  I have made it with all different nuts, seeds, greens and superfood add-ins (like chlorella, spirulina, bone broth powder, etc.), but it’s always a hit.  Here I went with the classic combo of fresh basil and pine nuts.

Ingredients for approximately 1 cup pesto:

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  • 1/4 cup raw pine nuts or pistachios or pumpkin seeds for nut-free

  • 4 cups fresh basil, well packed

  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (or substitute Parmesan cheese)

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • juice from 1/2 to 1 large lemon

  • 1/4 tsp pink Himalayan salt, adjusted to taste

  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional as needed for desired consistency

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and spread pine nuts on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.  Bake for 4 to 5 minutes until just browned, shaking halfway through so they toast evenly.  Cool.

  2. To a food processor or blender container add cooled nuts, basil, nutritional yeast, garlic, juice from 1/2 lemon, and 1/4 tsp salt.  Blend well.

  3. With processor/blender running, slowly drizzle in the oil and process until well combined, stopping to scrape the bottom and sides with a spatula as needed.

  4. Add additional seasoning, lemon juice, or olive oil as needed for desired taste and consistency.

This pesto can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 to 2 weeks or frozen for several months.  I like to freeze it using an ice cube tray so that it’s easy to thaw in single-serving portions.

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