Have you ever tried making your own pesto? It’s so simple, quick to make, fresh and you can substitute so many of the ingredients to suit what you have in your cupboards. Below are the various versions I have made finally settling on the Spinach and Basil Pesto.
Curly kale, hempseed, garlic, lemon and flax oil pesto (with and without adding a cup of basil) – This yielded nice results. Use the same amount of hempseeds as you would Pine nuts and 3-4 cups Kale. The hempseeds can be hard to find in UK supermarkets, but are very good for you and packed with protein. So if you’re interested in trying this, finding them online or at a health store is probably your best bet. Flax oil brings a lovely nutty flavour to pestos, but make sure not to heat any left over pesto made with flax oil because it should not be heated, however it will be ok if added to warm pasta.
Cavolo nero kale, hempseed, garlic, lemon and flax oil pesto (with and without adding a cup of basil) – I found this type of kale quite bitter, which was refreshing, but not my favourite of all the different types I tried. Make sure to remove the centre rib of this kale before adding it to the food processor.
Curly kale, Pine nuts, garlic, lemon and olive oil pesto – I found the pine nuts yielded a smoother pesto than the ones made with hemp-seeds as they seemed to break down more in the food processor.
Spinach, walnut, garlic, lemon and olive oil pesto – Tasty, not much different to the full recipe below.
Baked spaghetti squash with homemade pesto – This was absolutely delicious and a fabulous alternative to traditional spaghetti if you are going gluten free. A friend of mine brought a spaghetti squash over, we baked this in the oven (how to bake spaghetti squash) and mixed in some pesto. Since then I’ve looked everywhere in order to recreate it but can’t find them anymore, hence why this version didn’t make the final cut. Do keep your eye out for this squash next autumn though because they are a very tasty, low-carb alternative to spaghetti.
In the below recipe, I’ve used whole wheat organic pasta, wild salmon and limited the amount of Parmesan to a light sprinkling before serving in order to make this healthier.
I’ve also added spinach to the pesto which ups the usual vegetable content of pesto.
Written by Corin
Serves: 4 (Makes approx 1 cup of Pesto)
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15-20 minutes
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