Makes about 250 ml
A freshly made basil pesto can turn any dish into something special. The Italians prepare it with pine nuts and fresh garlic in a pestle and mortar, but this is the hassle-free Westfalia way. Instead of pine nuts, which are not always easily available in South Africa, sunflower seeds or flaked almonds are used. Westfalia Garlic and Lemon Flavoured Avocado Oil adds a delicious taste to the mixture – and you don’t need to peel any garlic.
70 g fresh basil leaves
50 g sunflower seeds or flaked almonds, toasted (see tip)
125 ml (½ cup) finely grated pecorino, mature white cheddar or parmesan cheese
60 ml (¼ cup) Westfalia Garlic Flavoured Avocado Oil
90 ml (6 tbsp) Westfalia Lemon Flavoured Avocado Oil
salt and pepper to taste
1. Place basil, seeds or nuts, cheese and half of each of the oils in a food processor and blend. Alternatively blend with a stick blender.
2. Add the rest of the oils as the mixture starts to come together. If you add all the oil at once, it will be more difficult to form a paste.
3. Season to taste and serve. Pesto can be enjoyed in many different ways. Here are two easy ways: add to roasted veggies, like beetroot, with extra fresh basil leaves. Mix spoonfuls of pesto with chickpeas and enjoy as a salad with fresh rocket or salad leaves, basil and more pecorino cheese.
1. To toast seeds or nuts, toss in a dry frying pan without any oil, over a medium heat. Toss the pan regularly and toast until golden brown, but take care as it can burn quite quickly.
2. If you are not going to serve the pesto immediately, store in a sterilised jar. To sterilise, pour boiling water into the jar and over the lid. Allow to stand for 5-10 minutes, drain well and dry with a clean cloth. While the jar is still slightly warm, spoon in the pesto and drizzle a thin layer of avocado oil on top to prevent the pesto from turning brown. Close with the lid and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
3. Other ways to enjoy pesto: stir into pasta, spread on a sandwich with fresh tomato, add to burgers or pizzas. Thin with a little extra oil and use as a salad dressing or serve as a sauce or accompaniment with meat, chicken or veggies.