Pumpkin Seed & Basil pesto
I find this so versatile and always have a fresh jar in the fridge or stored in individual portions in the freezer. It is traditionally used as a sauce for pasta, but it is also great as a topping for fish or chicken, and on pizza. Now that I’ve just made a big batch, stay tuned for lots of pesto-y recipes this week! It is a great way to incorporate the nutrients from fresh herbs (did you know Basil contains antioxidants great for the immune system?) and the Pumpkin Seeds themselves are rich in Magnesium, Zinc and anti-inflammatory Omega-3s.
· 1–2 Garlic Cloves (I like to use smoked garlic when I can find it)
· 70g Fresh Basil leaves and stalks
· 50g Pumpkin Seeds
· 40g Parmesan cheese
· 150ml Toasted Pumpkin Seed Oil (or any good quality Olive Oil)
· 1.5 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
· Zest of 1 Lemon and juice from 1/2 lemon
· Himalayan Salt
· Fresh Black Pepper
· Optional — Chilli Flakes to taste
· In a blender, whizz the garlic and pumpkin seeds together to a paste — you may need to add a little of the oil to help the blades to puree the mixture.
· You want to have a little texture in pesto so avoid blending it so much that it becomes a smooth puree.
· Add half of the oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and the apple cider vinegar, and only then add the basil leaves — this way, the pesto keeps it’s lovely green colour and doesn’t go brown like it does if you add the leaves at the beginning.
· Finely grate the cheese and add it to the blender, then gradually pour in the remaining oil. It might need thinning with some water or more oil if desired.
· Season well with salt, pepper and chilli flakes if using.
· Mix well.
· Store in a sterilised airtight glass container in the fridge or portion some out to keep in the freezer.
P.S — I also love a Sundried Tomato, Rocket and Goats Cheese Pesto too, so keep your eyes peeled for that recipe coming up!