This is a super dooper simple recipe that you can keep up your sleeve for a quick dinner, or to add flavour to everyday dishes. This is good pesto by itself but you can also use it as ready to go basil for other dishes, or a spread for pizza or sandwiches.
The base is vegan, you can always add parmesan to the top of the dish later if you really want to but you can get the right flavour balance between the lime, nuts and salt so you won’t even notice it doesn’t have cheese.
I wait until I see nice big bunches of basil at the markets for a good price and then I make a big batch all at once, that way I can eat some and freeze some for later. The frozen pesto can be softened in the microwave for about 30 seconds and then you can just chisel of the amount you want.
3 big bunches of basil
A good handful of nuts: pine nuts, walnuts or pistachios; lightly roasted
The juice of 1 lime or lemon, plus some peel
2 cloves of garlic (optional)
Wash your basil well making sure to get any lingering dirt. Separate the leaves from the stalks. I keep the part of the stalks that isn’t too tough to get the largest quantity of pesto possible.
Chop the stalks into inch long pieces and blend with nuts, lime/lemon juice and peel, garlic (optional), a good pinch of salt and a big drizzle of olive oil. The final amount of oil, salt, lime juice and nuts depends on taste, just use a bit to start with and add more as you go.
Once the stalks are well blended, add the leaves, I had to add them in two batches to get them in my blender. I added more nuts, salt, pepper and oil to get the flavour and texture right.
You can freeze it in small batches. Or eat it straight away.