Traditional Pesto

Updated: Apr 26, 2019

There is nothing quite like having fresh pesto. The pungent freshness of the basil, the richness of the cheese, the crunch of the nuts....

Pesto is a great sauce not only on pasta and gnocchi, but is absolutely delightful as a spread on sandwiches and on a grilled cheese, shakes up a Caprese appetizer, used on pizzas as a sauce or topping, in lasagnas, cold salads or even just tossed with cooked vegetables.

Some say that pesto is best made by hand, not with a processor. If you are up for the task, get a sharp knife and chop all your ingredients by hand. Mix together all the dry ingredients before stirring in your olive oil. Make sure to have a sharp knife and do not over-process the basil to prevent browning. The beauty of making your own pesto is being able to use herbs and greens on hand! Grab whatever herbs you love, use carrot tops and dandelion greens or keep it classic.

What is even better is that pesto can fit into most diets as well!

To make this Vegan!

If you are vegan, replace the cheese with 3 tbsp nutritional yeast.

To make this nut free!

If you are not able to eat nuts, replace the nuts with an equal amount or less of either sun dried tomatoes, brown rice, sunflower seeds or even... just more cheese! If that does not sound appetizing to you, feel free to omit the nuts completely and you will still have a delightful sauce.

A wealth of flavor also comes with a wealth of health benefits as basil is not only flavorful, but is rich in vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, potassium, antioxidants, has antibacterial properties and it classified as an adaptogen--- that means it actually can help your body deal with and adapt to stress!

Not that you should use food as a stress relief, but it is good to know at the end of s stressful day, healthy food and a healthy dose of pesto could be your ticket to reducing your stress levels.

Grab your apron and start playing with your food. It's good for you!

Did you try this yourself? Post a photo and tag @allthingsastred!

Variations and related recipes? Yes, please! Gimme the Greens Pesto Bacon-wrapped Roasted Potatoes Cauliflower Gnocchi

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