Australian & Italian
Basil and Almond Pesto (GF, DF)
By: Christina Soong
One of the simplest and most versatile savoury dishes to cook at home is pesto. Pesto is made in only a few short minutes but it’s a great multi-tasker, forming the basis of lots of different dishes. You can eat it as a dip with crackers, or mix it through freshly cooked pasta. Alternatively, you can use pesto to marinade chicken thighs and breasts before barbecuing them, or as a dipping sauce. It’s also wonderful dolloped on top of vegetable soups just before serving.
A few tips:
- You can use whole natural or blanched almonds, but slivered almonds toast more evenly.
- Skip the nut toasting step altogether if you’re in a hurry, but the toasting really brings out the flavour of the nuts.
- Try one clove of garlic first – if it’s not enough you could add another half to whole clove. Be aware that the garlic flavour will strengthen and deepen as the pesto comes together so err on the side of caution.
- Use the best extra virgin olive oil you have at home for this dish, you’ll really notice the difference in this pesto.
- ½ cup slivered almonds
- 1 bunch fresh Italian basil, leaves only
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1-2 garlic cloves
- ⅓ cup best quality extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 teaspoon salt flakes
Step by Step Instructions
Heat up a frypan and dry-fry almonds without any oil. Turn regularly until nicely browned and then set aside and leave to cool.
Blend cooled almonds, basil, lemon, garlic, EVOO and salt in a food processor.
Taste and then adjust seasoning as required.
Use immediately or cover and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.