I was meaning to write this blog a couple of months ago, but like I said in my previous post, this has been an incredibly busy summer! I would have liked to revisit my pesto recipe with you when basil was in its prime, but now it's a little past that, although my plant is still going strong. Thanks to my husband. He's the plant whisperer. I'm the plant killer. I talked my husband into taking care of my herbs this summer and they have flourished! I planted Italian parsley, thyme and basil. Here's a photo of them a couple of months ago when they were full and lush:
I guess it's better late than never for pesto. After many years of making this pesto recipe, it's still a staple in our house. It's a great alternative to tomato sauce, for people who can't eat tomatoes. Plus, it's really easy to make. Just throw all the ingredients a food processor and give it a whirl.
I thought I would update the recipe to be truly low-FODMAP. Before, I had the garlic as an optional ingredient, but I wanted to still include the garlic flavor. My answer: roasted garlic oil! I actually like the pesto better with the garlic oil, it's a little more mellow and not as pungent. I made a few more tweaks to the recipe and I love the resulting recipe.
I like to freeze the pesto in an ice cube tray. Once the cubes are frozen, just transfer them to a plastic freezer bag. They are ready and waiting for use! I love mixing a little pesto with some gluten-free pasta and some tolerable veggies and sauteed chicken. A quick and easy dinner (or lunch sometimes!). I usually use one cube per one (2 oz.) serving of gluten-free pasta.
Spinach Basil Pesto
makes about 1 cup pesto or 12-14 cubes
1 1/2 cups baby spinach leaves
3/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts or 1/4 cup sunflower nuts
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup Oven-Roasted Garlic Oil or extra virgin olive oil*
Directions*Update 03/14/17: I've been using Nicer Foods Garlic Infused Oil from FODY Foods in this recipe lately and it works great! Since the Nicer Foods Garlic Oil is so much more potent than homemade, I only use 1 tablespoon in this recipe. Simply add 1 tablespoon Nicer Foods Garlic Oil to a measuring cup, then fill with plain olive oil the rest of the way to the 1/2-cup mark.
- Blend the spinach, basil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, lemon juice, lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons of the oil in a food processor until nearly smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula as necessary. Drizzle the remaining oil into the mixture while processing until smooth.
- Divide pesto evenly in an ice cube tray. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze. Once pesto is frozen, remove from tray and store in a heavy-duty freezer storage bag and use as needed.