Monday, July 9, 2012

Fresh Basil & Pepita Pesto

I bought handfuls of gorgeous, aromatic basil yesterday at the Farmer's Market in Flagstaff. The lovely woman who sold the herbs suggested using pumpkin seeds (pepitas) as an alternative to pine nuts in pesto making. The result: Amazing, inexpensive, easy-peasy pesto with all the health benefits that basil has to offer!

Makes ~ 1 cup. (Use organic and fresh ingredients whenever possible.)
  • 2 handfuls of fresh de-stemmed basil leaves; gently washed
  • 6 Tbsp. olive oil (more or less to get the consistency desired)
  • 3/4 c. hulled, toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 3 garlic cloves; minced
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • pinch of sea salt
In cast-iron skillet, gently brown pepitas on medium heat for 8-10 minutes until most turn golden brown; stir occasionally. In food processor, blend all ingredients into a relatively smooth paste. Serve on pasta, crusty bread, "faux pasta" (see earlier recipe), roasted vegetables, eggs, etc. Stores well in refrigerator for 2-3 days.

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