Are you in search of ways to use all of that extra basil from the garden? If so this simple nut-free basil pesto recipe is for you!
If your garden is bursting with basil this summer and you are wondering what to do with all that extra fresh basil, this simple nut-free pesto recipe is a great place to start!
Garden Fresh Pesto Without Nuts
For years I have tried to incorporate pesto into our summer menu, mostly as a way to use all of the extra basil we grow in our garden. Unfortunately my husband has a severe nut allergy and traditional basil pesto typically includes pine nuts or walnuts. Without the nuts it's hard to get that perfect earthy creamy flavor that pesto is so renowned for. My search for the perfect nut free pesto recipe included lots of trail and error, but finally this simple and delicious pesto sauce is here!! The very best nut free pesto recipe you'll find!
What is pesto
Essentially pesto is a creamy paste, Italian in origin, and made from basil, garlic, pine nuts or walnuts (depending where you are in Italy), olive oil and Parmesan cheese. In Italian the word pesto actually means “to pound or crush” because traditionally, this recipe was made with a mortar and pestle. If you have extra time on your hands you are more than welcome to try the traditional mortal and pestle method. Modern technology has made this process far easier and I like to use my cuisinart food processor, to whip this fresh pesto recipe up quickly.
How to use Pesto
Pesto is a delicious and extremely versatile sauce that can be added to many dishes, among them
- Orzo Pasta Salad
And the list goes on!!
Nut Free Pesto Ingredients
The key to any fresh pesto is quality ingredients. If you are not harvesting basil and garlic straight from your garden, be sure to pick bright green fresh looking basil at the grocery store. An excellent organic extra virgin olive oil is ideal and I like to use parmigiano reggiano for this recipe, but regular parmesan is great too! I buy mine in a bulk block and shred it in the food processor to save money.
- Fresh Basil
- Fresh Garlic
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- parmigiano reggiano
- Red Wine Vinegar
Making fresh nut free pesto
As I mentioned before, I highly recommend using a food processor for this recipe, it makes it quickly and it's also easier to get the consistency you are looking for.
- If you are using a block cheese use the round grating attachment on your food processor to grate the cheese. Leave the cheese in the food processor basin.
- Add basil garlic and red wine vinegar.
- Pulse ingredients together three or four times.
- Turn food processor on and slowly drizzle olive oil in through the top, until consistency is to your liking. (some prefer more of a rough chop, I prefer a really rich and creamy texture).
- Add salt to taste, pulse again until combined.
How to store fresh pesto
Storing pesto in the refrigerator
You can store fresh pesto in the refrigerator for up to a week in an airtight container. The pesto may turn a bit brown or may seem less vibrant green after being stored for a few days, don't be alarmed this is just due to oxidation and your pesto will still taste great!
If you plan on storing your pesto for more than a week, I highly recommend freezing. You can do this in a number of ways. I freeze larger batches in mason jars with plastic lids. For smaller amounts I use ice cube trays, freeze and then transfer to silicone freezer bags for easy single serve use.
- 3 cups fresh basil
- 3 cloves fresh garlic
- ½ cup organic extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups freshly shredded parmigiano reggiano
- 1 tbs red wine vinegar
- salt to taste
- 1. If you are using ungrated cheese use the round grating attachement on your food processor to grate the cheese. Leave the cheese in the basin.
- 2. Add basil garlic and red wine vinegar.
- 3. Pulse ingredients together three or four times.
- 4. Turn food processor on and slowly drizzle olive oil in until consistency is to your liking. (some presfer more of a rough chop, I prefer a creamy texture.
- 5 Add salt to taste.
Use pulse function on food processor to not over mix.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 210Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 426mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 8g