Dairy Free Toasted Walnut Pesto
It always feels like summer to me when I make pesto out of fresh basil leaves. My friend Vanessa brought me some basil from her garden and I couldn't wait to make pesto with it! This recipe leaves out the dairy and garlic but still has a strong basil taste and nuttiness due to the roasted walnuts. You won't even notice that the typical ingredients are missing! I use walnuts instead of the traditional pine nuts because I usually have walnuts on hand, and I enjoy their taste more. I love to use pesto as a topping on pizza, pasta, and even on my eggs in the morning. It's an easy way to add flavor to a dish!
* 1/2 cup raw walnuts toasted
* 1 cup basil leaves
* 1 tsp sea salt ( if using table salt use less)
* 1 TBSP lemon juice
*1/4 cup olive oil plus a little more to add to the top for storage
* optional if not dairy free - 1/4 cup fresh parmesan cheese
1) Pre-heat the oven to 200 and toast the walnuts on a sheet pan for 4 minutes, allow to cool
2) In a food processor pulse the walnuts for 30 seconds until roughly chopped
3) Add the basil, sea salt, and lemon juice and pulse for another 30 seconds
4) Drizzle in the olive oil slowly while running the food processor and process until smooth, about 45 seconds to one minute. If you are using parmesan add it in at this point and pulse for a few seconds.
5) Store in an airtight container with a small layer of olive oil drizzled on top to keep it fresh.
This will keep in the refrigerator for 5 days or you can freeze for 3 months. I like to freeze in small servings to pull out for a meal.
* Add to gluten free pasta for a sauce, mix with a little more olive oil to thin out.
* Use as a sauce layer on pizza!
* Toss with grilled zucchini or chicken
* Spoon a little on your eggs for a flavorful breakfast.
My little cutie loved this pesto so much he wouldn't stop licking the spatula!