I feel like basil pesto is one of those underrated foods even though it has the power to enhance any savoury dish and we always seem to forget about it. Avo toast + basil pesto – incredible, tomato soup + basil pesto – inseparable, hummus + basil pesto – a winning combination! At the ripe age of twenty-seven I’ve finally mastered homemade basil pesto and even better, roasted garlic basil pesto!
During lockdown we’ve been trying to recreate some of our favourite meals at home. So naturally on a Friday nights, pizza or any sort of takeout meal is at the top of the list. Because I like to be boujee, we’ve been using basil pesto on on the Simple Truth gluten free pizza bases instead of tomato and let me tell you, it makes ALL the difference! Our favourite home made pizza include: gluten free base with basil pesto, roasted butternut & feta, caramelised onions, cheese & fresh avo. Try it and thank me later!
The other night Sean made delicious pork chops with salad and it was super yum but sadly the chops were dry. In comes basil pesto saved the day! See, told you basil pesto can enhance any savoury dish! Salads, soups and even a basic baked potato can be taken to the next level with basil pesto.
This recipe makes four times the amount you’re used to buying at the store. Most store-bought fresh basil pesto’s are anywhere between 125g-130g for R48 – R65 so if you’re on a budget or just looking to make more food at home, this works out to so much cheaper and more delicious! We always have basil pesto on hand, with at least two glass jars in the freezer and one in the fridge. If you have a hectic work schedule (like me) or you’re a busy mom, this is the perfect thing to have in your fridge/freezer as a throw-over-everything.
I’ve made regular basil pesto with pine nuts and parmesan but instead of fresh garlic I’ve gone with wonderfully delicious roasted garlic which adds a better flavour, in my opinion. If you’re wanting to make this vegan, simply omit the parmesan, swap it for Violife Prosociano or just add nutritional yeast for that cheesy flavour. This is another chuck in the blender and go recipe – are you seeing a theme with my recipes yet?
This basil pesto and my vegan mac & cheese recipe are such a wonderful combination, with some chilli flakes & nutritional yeast – so yum!! Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe.
Homemade Basil PestoPrint This
- 2 large handfuls fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup pine or walnuts (pine nuts are pretty pricey & can be hard to find so opt for the walnuts if you're on a budget.)
- 1/2 cup fresh parmesan shavings
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3 cloves roasted garlic
- 2 squeezes lemon juice (about 1 tbs)
- salt & pepper to taste
- Cut the ‘head’ (the sticky out bit) of the garlic, to expose the raw cloves and drizzle with olive oil & roast on 180°C until tender, about 15-20 minutes.
- Remove any large stems and toss your basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, parmesan, lemon juice & spices into your high-speed blender (I use the OmniBlend V Pro).
- Blend on high until all the basil leaves have been incorporated, scrapping down the sides as needed.
- Serve with fresh bread, hummus & cheese board or separate into glass jars for the fridge and freezer.
I tend to use a 250g glass jar or the fridge (lasts up to a week) and two 125g jars for the fridge. Defrost fully before using.