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
- 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.