If you don’t already know, I live a dairy free lifestyle. I always try to modify dishes that require dairy so I can eat them, which can be a challenge, especially when my husband loves dairy and doesn’t understand my reasoning for not wanting to eat it. Since I started, 2.5 years ago, pesto was always something I loved but avoided when eating out at restaurants and buying store-made pesto sauces. I always thought that the Parmesan was required in order to really make it “pesto”, but to my surprise, after looking at recipes online, it’s pretty easy to just add it later for those that indulge in cow products…the main ingredient is basil, which I love and have plenty of, so I knew this week it was a recipe on my “must make” list!
Since this recipe makes about a cup, if only making for (2) people, you’ll have plenty to use for leftovers! Some leftover ideas: Use as a spread on sandwich or panini, dipping sauce, or even try putting on top of eggs for breakfast…you can really do what you want with it. I always cooking for just the two of us, so I had plenty to use up, which I didn’t mind since it was so tasty 🙂
1.5 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2 teaspoons dried basil
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese (optional)
1. Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth.
2. Add all the remaining oil and pulse until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl and mix in the cheese (if using cheese)
We served on top of whole wheat pasta and pan seared chicken with a steamed broccoli side! I really liked the chicken with the pesto, so I strongly suggest doing the same.