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Basil Pesto

This is our favourite pesto and is made with hazelnuts and pine nuts, but doesn't contain cheese so perfect for vegans. You can vary the herbs and make it with wild garlic,  watercress, rocket, baby spinach leaves or a mixture.

Basil Pesto

Dietary: Vegan

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

50g hazels

25g pinenuts 

1 garlic clove, peeled

100ml extra virgin olive oil

40g fresh basil

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp apple juice concentrate

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

1. Place the hazels on a baking tray, and roast in a hot oven (200C/180Fan/Gas6) for 5-8 minutes, being careful they don’t burn. Rub the skins off the hazelnuts.

2. Dry roast the pinenuts in a small frying pan until golden, decant into a bowl.

3. In a food processor or in a pestle and mortar crush the pinenuts and hazels roughly and then decant them into a bowl and set aside.

4. Puree the garlic with a pinch of salt in a little of the olive oil, then add the basil and the rest of the olive oil and puree just enough to break up the basil to a rough texture.

5. Add the lemon juice and apple juice concentrate and mix.

6. Pour the basil and garlic mixture into the crushed nuts and stir in.

7. Season to taste.

Tips: 

  • Serve as a pasta sauce, bruschetta topping or as a dip for crudités. 
  • Can be made with watercress, rocket, baby spinach leaves or a mixture.
  • The pesto will keep in the fridge for a week or two so long as the top is covered with a layer of olive oil. 
  • You can also freeze it. Freeze in small containers, so that you can take out a little at a time.

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