Basil Pesto with Flaxseeds
To say that I love pesto would probably be an understatement. It's so simple yet so deliciously tasty and full of nutritious ingredients. What's not to love about fresh herbs and olive oil? These two beauties are the base of any kind of pesto.
I have staple Annabel Langbein basil pesto recipe which I make often. However I simply use whatever herbs or nuts or seeds I have at the time. If I don't have basil, I'll use parsley or coriander. If I don't have pine nuts, I'll use toasted almonds or cashews. The possibilities of pesto making are quite honestly endless! I'll throw in a bit of parmesan if I have some. Or not, if I don't. There is so much flavour in pesto when you use good quality olive oil and fresh herbs that I don't think it matters plus it’s a lot cheaper than heading out to buy certain ingredients. But I like to keep it simple and hopefully you do too. I also love my little mustard knife (pictured above) so I use any excuse to make pesto just so I can use my nifty mustard-handled knife. I love my utensils. It’s also another reason to pull out my mighty Nutribullet. I swear I’m obsessed with that machine!
If you haven't made your own pesto before, I really encourage you to try it. I'm sure you will be amazed by just how quick and easy it is. You will be whipping up a fresh jar for family & friends before you know it at the drop of a hat!
There are so many uses for pesto. I stir it through cooked pasta or quinoa, add a dollop to salads, marinate chicken, spread it on wholegrain toast topped with avocado and tomato. It's also perfect to add to sandwiches and cooked potatoes or enjoying on a scrumptious platter with vegetables and cheese. Pesto really can be used for just about anything. It's easy enough for children to help you make and I bet they will be more than happy to try it and I'm sure you will be pleasantly surprised by how many littlies love it.
The recipe below is for a nut-free basil pesto with flaxseeds. I didn’t have pine nuts and the flaxseed addition turned out deliciously well. Flaxseeds are absolutely brilliant. They are a rich source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids which are important for healthy skin as well as a healthy brain, heart and immune system. I add them to smoothies, baking and salads for extra omega-3 fatty acids and their accompanying anti-inflammatory benefits.
The weekend is the perfect time to make a jar for the week ahead so plan some pesto-making time into your weekend line-up and you won't ever want to buy it again!
Basil pesto with Flaxseeds
2 packed cups fresh basil, leaves only (or you can use whatever fresh herbs you have on hand)
¾ cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
¼ parmesan cheese (cut into chunks)
¼ cup flaxseeds
Freshly ground black pepper
Coarse iodised sea salt
Place all of the ingredients into a food processor (or Nutribullet or stick blender) and pulse until everything is combined and you have a texture you are happy with.
Taste the pesto and add any extra salt and pepper if need be. If you like a ‘wetter’ pesto, add a dash more oil and pulse again.
Transfer to a sterilised glass jar or container with a fitted lid.
Store in the fridge. It should last at least a couple of weeks if you haven't eaten it by then!
Gluten-free, dairy-free (without parmesan), nut-free