The other day I saw a recipe for pesto that I’d never heard of before. It was from a twitter post by Epicurious ( I love twitter by the way…..). They referred to it as summer’s irresistible pesto, pesto made with corn. It sounded intriguing even though I don’t eat corn and inspired me to write about one of my favorite pesto creations – sun dried tomato pesto.
You see, the fun thing about pesto is that there are so many ways to make it. There are basically four main ingredients: greens, nuts, garlic, and olive oil.
Fresh lemon juice is an optional addition that adds a nice dimension. And very often cheese is in pesto too, but it’s not necessary. In fact I’ve made cheese- less pesto in cooking classes, and every time people are shocked at how good it is.
Greens: basil is the traditional green of pesto. Some other herbs or greens that can be used – cilantro, spinach, parsley, swiss chard, or arugula. I made mine with this baby basil that is super cute and full of flavor.
Nuts – pine nuts are the most commonly used. Walnuts, brazil nuts, macadamia nuts are also all delicious.
This recipe was inspired by one I saw while browsing through a friends cookbook but didn’t remember the name of the book or the recipe details. So, I took the basic concept and made my own version. I used brazil nuts here but have made it with pine nuts too. The brazil nuts make a thicker pesto and the pine nuts make a thinner sweeter tasting pesto. Both are to die for!
Try this pesto stirred into zucchini noodles or beans. Tastes great roasted onto of salmon as well. The options are endless 🙂
Sun-dried Tomato Pesto
1 jar oil packed organic sun dried tomatoes
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup brazil nuts
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/2- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
Place nuts, garlic and tomatoes in food processor. Pulse until combined and texture resembles even gravel. Add basil leaves and pulse until chopped and integrated with nut mixture. In a slow steady stream, add the olive oil. Add more as needed to get to the consistency you like it. Pulse in the lemon juice, salt and pepper.
To make the pesto creamier, add 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk, yum!