I LOVE pesto and this recipe is one of my favourites. It's great for low-carb diets and thanks to herbs and tomatoes, it's loaded with potassium.
It goes great with meat, in salads or even as a dip with freshly cut vegetables. After I learnt how easy it is to make your own, I would never buy the ready-made product again.
Here is why you should make your own pesto:
- You have complete control over what ingredients are used. I grow my own basil, use the best olive oil and no preservatives.
- It's cheaper. You can make pesto in advance and freeze it for future uses.
- It's delicious and you can experiment with flavours.
Nutritional values (per serving, 1 tbsp; 15g / 0.5 oz):
|of which Saturated||1.1||grams|
Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (8%), protein (5.7%), fat (86.3%)
Ingredients (makes 440g / 15.5 oz jar, about 30 servings):
- 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained (110g / 3.9 oz)
- ½ cup macadamia nuts (60g / 2.1 oz)
- ¼ cup cashew nuts (30g / 1.1 oz)
- ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated (30g / 1.1 oz)
- ¼ cup tomato purée (60g / 2.1 oz)
- ½ lemon, juice and zest or less to taste
- 2 cloves garlic (or more to taste)
- 1 cup fresh basil
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil (120 ml / 4 fl oz)
- ½ tsp salt (I used pink Himalayan)
Note: Adding more garlic will have an impact on the net carbs content. Keep in mind that each extra clove will add ~ 1 gram of net carbs. When looking for ingredients, try to get them in their most natural form (organic, without unnecessary additives).
- Wash the basil, peel and mash the garlic, juice and zest the lemon. Place the oil, basil, garlic, lemon, nuts, sun-dried tomatoes and tomato purée into a food processor and pulse until smooth.
Note: Sun-dried tomatoes usually come in a jar filled with oil. I don't use the oil unless it's extra virgin olive oil. In most cases, it's a mixture of sunflower and olive oil.
- Grate the parmesan cheese and add to the mixture. Pulse again 3-4 times.
- When done, use immediately or spoon the mixture in a glass jar, top with a bit of olive oil and seal properly with a lid.
You can keep your pesto in the fridge for up to a week or two if it's stored properly. It helps to pour a thin layer of olive oil on the top, as it keeps it fresh for longer. Whenever you use pesto, always remember to add a thin layer of olive oil on the top.
If you want to preserve home-made pesto for longer, freeze it in manageable portion sizes by putting it in an ice-cube tray and keep in a plastic bag in the freezer for up to 6 months. Whenever you need to use it, just keep the required portion at room temperature until it melts.