Basil Pesto On A Budget

Who doesn’t love basil pesto? It’s one of my favourite sauces. It’s so full of flavour, you only need a little, which is fortunate as it’s rather pricey. One tiny little tub (100g) from the supermarket is around $5.00 and does not last long at all in our house; it also does not taste nearly as good as homemade pesto.

When I had Duo Wraps & Espresso we used to make our own as we went through so much. Every few weeks a lovely little lady would come past and sell us herbs from her garden; she used to grow the best-tasting basil and it made delicious pesto. Traditionally, pesto is made with basil leaves, garlic, olive oil, pine nuts, and aged hard cheese such as Parmigiano-Reggiano.

This version uses lemon and plain unsalted cashew pieces instead of pine nuts which brings the cost down substantially; pine nuts are $13.50 per 200g from online store Kilo.co.nz where as cashew pieces are $23.90 per kg. To make this recipe Vegan and Paleo take out the parmesan and use nutritional yeast instead.

Basil Pesto On A Budget

2 cups tightly packed fresh basil (home grown is best)

1/2 cup plain, unsalted cashew pieces

2 cloves fresh garlic, minced

1/2 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 cup grated parmesan or 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (Vegan option)

sea salt or Himalayan to taste

Here’s how to make it …

Place the basil, cashews and garlic into your food processor and pulse until everything is roughly chopped.

Turn your food processor onto the lowest setting and drizzle in the olive oil to make a thick paste, then add the lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and sea salt and pulse until well combined. Adjust salt and add more lemon juice if necessary.

 

Comments 2

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      Author

      Nutritional yeast is made from Saccharomyces Cerevisiae, which is grown on molasses and then harvested, washed, and dried with heat to kill or “deactivate” it. Because it’s inactive, it doesn’t froth or grow like baking yeast does so it has no leavening ability. It’s often used in Vegan cooking for it’s earthy flavour. I buy mine at Bulk Foods in Mount Eden but most organic/bulk food stores sell it.

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