Toasted Sunflower Pesto

Hello friends!

Apologies for neglecting you – I’ve been a busy bear with work lately, and have perhaps not quite gotten my time-management skills running like a well-oiled machine. Hand me the oil though – I’ll get there! Give it time..

Anyway, I thought I’d pop in and drop this delicious green bomb on you. Everybody knows I can’t get enough of pesto, and this is my latest creation. I made this up a couple of months ago now, and have made it several times since with slightly different variations – the recipe below is the basic plan I had in mind. One thing was the same throughout, and that was the use of sunflower seeds and walnuts as the base nuts. Toasting the sunflower seeds really brings out such a beautiful flavour, you must try it!

ImageToasted Sunflower Pesto

3/4 cup sunflower seeds
3/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp sea salt
3 cloves garlic
3 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup fresh coriander
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup flax seed oil
1/4 – 1/2 tsp chili flakes

Toast walnuts and sunflower seeds in a pan over low heat for approximately five minutes, until slightly golden and aromatic.

Meanwhile, roughly chop the garlic and throw it in a food processor/blender along with the lemon juice and salt. Blend to combine.

Add toasted walnuts and sunflower seeds, process until well chopped up – I usually keep going until they are the consistency of coarse crumbs.

Add herbs, oil and chili flakes and blend until the desired consistency is reached. If it’s too chunky, add some water or oil a little at a time until it’s smooth enough.

Need I tell you what to do with it next? Eat it on crackers, stir it through pasta, use it in a sandwich, in salad, on tofu, EAT IT ‘TIL IT’S GONE!!!

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Lemony Almond Kale Pesto

I’m back for round two!

I’ve had a long day on my feet working for a jewellery stall in a shopping centre here in Bundaberg, so I’m going to make this a quick post.

In Gympie, I picked up some kale from a fruit and veg market that was according to the dude, grown “literally just down the road” – you can’t get much more local than that without growing it in your own yard (or van? Van garden? Hmm…)

It’s no secret that I love pesto…and garlic, and kale and lemon and almonds and so on. Anyway, I decided to whip up this pesto to stir through some pasta as a quick and easy meal, and we used the leftovers to spread in sandwiches (kale pesto, baby spinach, marinated red capsicum and sundried tomatoes). Yum.

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*note: I made this with raw kale as I enjoy the taste, but if you don’t like the bitterness, it’s a good idea to blanch it first (by dropping it in boiling water until the leaves turn bright green, then transferring to a bowl of ice water). However, if you are going to heat it up (on pasta for example), you will end up losing a lot of the bitterness anyway.

Lemony Almond Kale Pesto
(makes about 2 cups)

1 bunch kale, washed and stems removed (*see note above)
150g raw almonds

2 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
3 Tbsp water (plus more if needed)
Salt
Pepper

Add almonds and garlic to a food processor and pulse a few times until roughly chopped.

Roughly chop the kale and add it to the processor along with oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Process until well combined.

Add nutritional yeast and water and process to combine. If necessary, add water 1 Tbsp at a time until desired consistency is reached. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.

Use as a dip, spread, sauce, or pretty much whatever you can think of. Sometimes I like to just eat it on my finger.

 

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