Pesto and other Basil Tricks
Traditional pesto is made from basil, pine nuts, olive oil, garlic and Parmesan cheese. We can still use the basil, olive oil and garlic, but since pine nuts have become insanely expensive lately, and Parmesan cheese doesn’t fit the bill for a raw food recipe, I decided to take a stab at Walnut Pesto! As you know, Walnuts are packed with nutrition. And pesto is just yummy. You can serve this over veggie noodles, spoon it on tomatoes, turn it into a dip, put it on your raw pizza’s, and incorporate it in many other raw food recipes.
In today’s post you will find 3 raw food recipes! One for Basil Walnut Pesto, one for Basil Walnut Pesto “Cream” and finally a great way to use that Basil Walnut Pesto Cream over zucchini noodles and veggies! There are also some tips for freezing basil after the recipes!
Pesto is bursting with the flavor of basil and garlic. It freezes well and can quickly convert the simplest veggies into a great meal that is bursting with flavor. It is a great way to use and store your basil. You can find another delicious raw food recipe for pumpkin seed pesto here: Pumpkin Seed Pesto
There are a few ways you can freeze basil.
1. Chop fine, toss with a little olive oil to coat and freeze.
2. Add chopped basil to an ice cube tray filled with water. Add 1 tsp. to each space filled with the water. Freeze the basil into ice cubes. Melt the cubes when needed.
3. Process the basil in your food processor with enough oil to make a paste. Freeze the paste.
4. Place basil leaves on a cookie sheet and place in freezer. Once they are completely frozen, place in containers.
Note: I have had the best results with methods one and two.
Walnut Basil Pesto
- 2 cup basil leaves, packed
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic
- squeeze of lemon juice
1. With food processor running, drop in two cloves of garlic.
2. Stop machine and add basil and walnuts. Pulse until well chopped.
3. Add olive oil and lemon juice and pulse until well combined.
* Makes 1 1/2 cup pesto.
Chef’s note: I love garlic and have loaded this pesto with it. You can definitely cut back if you wish. To Freeze, place in ice cube trays, freeze then move to storage container and keep in freezer.
Walnut Basil Pesto “Cream” Sauce
- 1 cup cashews
- 3/4 cup filtered water
- 5 tablespoons Basil Walnut Pesto, divided
1. Soak cashews for about 3 hours to soften.
2. In high-speed blender, blend cashews, and water until smooth.
3. Add 2 tablespoons of the Basil Walnut Pesto and blend well.
3. Remove to bowl and stir in 3 more tablespoons of the basil-walnut pesto.
*Makes 1 cup of sauce.
Basil Walnut Pesto “Cream” with Veggies
- 1 cup Basil Walnut Pesto “Cream”
- 2 medium zucchinis
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, optional
1. Put the zucchini through the spiralizer to make noodles.
2. Toss together zucchini noodles, tomatoes, mushrooms and 1/2 to 1 cup of the Basil Walnut Pesto Sauce.
3. Top with pine nuts and serve.