Pesto the perfect recipe if you grow your own basil or have a lot to use up at once, so if you have a garden it’s perfect for summer. It’s also a great addition to so many summery recipes, like potato or pasta salads, grilled fish or salads.
By making your own pesto, you can replace the cheaper vegetable oils in store-bought versions with heart-healthy olive oil, avoid preservatives and allergens and boost the ratio of whole-food ingredients to oil. Plus, of course, homemade pesto tastes fresher and far more delicious than anything you could buy from the supermarket!
In this recipe, I’ve swapped out the traditional pine nuts for cashews. Cashews are a little cheaper and easier to find than pine nuts, but they still provide the same creamy flavour and crunch. However, if you are making a nut-free version of this recipe, pine nuts are in fact seeds and so a great alternative. Other alternatives include sunflower seeds, hemp seeds or pepitas.
Another traditional ingredient of pesto is parmesan. I’ve omitted it here to keep this recipe vegan friendly and dairy free, but you could absolutely include it if you like. I would suggest trying the recipe first before you add any - there are so many bold, delicious flavours in this recipe that you might find you can go without!
This recipe makes just enough to toss through a pot of pasta. If you don’t use it all on the day, it will keep for a week in the fridge. If you are feeding a crowd, I would recommend doubling the recipe to have extra on hand during the week for easy work or school sandwiches and salad dressings.
This post is proudly featured in collaboration with Sarah MacDonald of Sarah's Spoonful.
1.5 cups basil leaves
1 clove garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup cashews
1 pinch sea salt
1. Add basil, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and salt to yourVibe Blender jug and pulse 4-5 times until smooth.
2. Add the cashews to the blender and pulse again 1-2 times. Depending on how you like your pesto, pulse for longer to achieve a smoother result or for less time for a chunkier result.
3. Store in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to one week. Use in sandwiches, salad dressings, with pasta, over vegetables or baked with fish or chicken.
Note: a delicious way to serve this pesto is over salmon. Spread a thin layer over each piece of fish and bake at 200ºC for about 10 minutes. Finish it off with a quick grill for a minute or two and serve with salad or vegetables for a delicious, healthy and incredibly fast weeknight dinner.