Pesto is such a wonderful dish. Sadly over the years I avoided eating it for one reason, I DON’T LIKE CHEESE. I know, I know, weird, my family doesn’t get it either. What can I say, the texture, the smell the taste, it’s all of it. Yet whenever I saw pesto I would look longingly at it because I loved all the other ingredients, I just couldn’t get over the cheese. One day I finally decided to make it without the Parmesan, it was delicious! I loved it and started to use it all the time, on my pizza, pasta and salad.
Last week while visiting my parents they wanted pesto but with the Parmesan in it, so I did what I never would have before, I made it with cheese. To my surprise it was good. Most pestos call for pine nuts but those are expensive so I switch it up to use whatever I have on hand, walnuts, pecans, almonds or cashews. I don’t think I’ll try it with peanuts, they’re too strong of a flavor. My favorite so far has been cashews, they make for a very smooth pesto, especially when you leave out the Parmesan. Pesto is a great way to use all that basil growing in your summer garden. There’s nothing better than fresh picked basil in your pesto but if you have to go to the store that’s okay, it will still turn out delicious.
3 cups firmly packed fresh basil
6 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup nuts or your choice
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan (optional, great without it)
1/2 tsp sea salt
Blend until smooth, if you have trouble blending add a little more olive oil. Serve over any type of pasta, on pizza, with chicken, salad or however you like it. When I make pasta I prefer to use brown rice pasta, you can find it at places like Trader Joe’s, Sprouts and Whole Foods.