Simple and Fresh Pesto

I love basil! And this year is the first year we actually have happy basil plants. It can only mean one thing: PESTO TIME!

Pesto is so fresh and delicious it’s always very exciting to have some in the kitchen. The traditional recipes call for pine nuts, but, hum, these are really expensive! I kept things simple using ingredients that are always in my pantry, and I’m more than satisfied with the result. Here’s my simple, simple, simple pesto recipe!

Here’s what you need:

  • Enough fresh basil to fill up your blender, about 5 cups (leaves and tender stems)
  • 2 tbs tahini
  • 2 tbs almond butter
  • 1-2 cloves of fresh garlic
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbs nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 whole lemon, rind removed
  • 1 tsp salt (I used coarse sea salt)
  • pepper, chipotle pepper flakes, or red pepper flakes to taste

Here’s what you do:

  1. Wash the basil and pat dry.
  2. Transfer all the ingredients, but the olive oil, into your blender and blend.
  3. Slowly add the olive oil until you get your desired consistency.
  4. Transfer to an air-tight container and keep in the fridge.
  5. Enjoy on everything!

I love this pesto because it is great on everything: sandwiches, as a salad dressing and, of course, pasta. I used raw kelp noodles for a lighter no cook meal, and it was delicious! Let me know what your recipe for pesto is!

 

Pistou Soup

This is my version of my mom’s pistou soup. Pistou is the Provencal version of pesto: basil, garlic and olive oil! Pure green-gold in a spoon! For this version, however, I’ll be using my kale-parsley pesto because it is less expensive and also helps me use up all the kale that seems to appear magically in my fridge.

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Here is what you need:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch of green onions, minced (about 1 cup)
  • 3 zucchinis, cubed
  • 5 potatoes, cubed
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 2 cups green lentils
  • 2 tbs of fresh thyme (about 6-7 stalks)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup pesto
  • optional ingredients: 3 carrots (chopped), 2 stems of celery (chopped), 1 leek (minced), 1 cup walnuts

Here is what you do:

  1. In a large soup pot, saute the onion and garlic with a few tablespoons of water until fragrant.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients but keep the pesto last. Put on high heat.
  3. Cover with water, and add to more cups of water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let simmer until the lentils are done.
  4. Remove from heat and add pesto. Give a quick stir.
  5. Serve hot with some warm bread.

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Using lentils also makes it super fast to prepare because there is no soaking required.This makes for a great lunch. It is super filling and comforting, while not being heavy. The flavours all work so well together, and the kale-parsley pesto is a great alternative to basil pistou.

Let me know if you give this a try!

 

Kale-Parsley Pesto

I love pesto. If I could, I would eat basil pesto every day: the flavour is so fresh! However, until summer gets here and we get to grow it, basil is too much for our budget (especially if had every day). So, I turn to the next best thing: parsley! This pesto is super green, very delicious, and adds a ton of fresh flavours to salads, soups, toasts and, of course, pasta. It’s also oil-free and a breeze to make!

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Here is what you need:

  • a bunch of flat-leaf parsley (about 2 cups)
  • 1 bunch of kale leaves, stems removed (about 4 cups)
  • 1 peeled orange
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional ingredients (pick a few!): 3 tbs pine nuts, 2 cloves of garlic, 3 tbs walnuts

Here is what you do:

  1. Mix everything up in your food processor or blender.
  2. Keep in an air-tight container in the fridge.

The orange balances out the bitterness kale can bring while also keeping the pesto green. It’s also is more subtle than lemon and really lets the parsley’s flavour come through. This recipe is also a great way to use up some left over kale. Perfect! Let me know if you try this out!