I love fresh basil! The color and the smell really excite my senses and you can grow it yourself! Take advantage of beautiful home grown fresh basil and make this delicious nut free, dairy free pesto. This Pesto tastes great dipped in crusty bread and is a good sauce for pasta, meats and grilled or roasted vegetables.
· 2 cups fresh basil
· Juice from 1 large lemon
· 3 garlic cloves
· ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
· ¼ cup nutritional yeast
Separate the basil leaves from the stems. In a food processor, chop the garlic, add the basil & lemon juice and blend for about 30 seconds. Continue to blend as you drizzle in ¼ cup of olive oil. Add the nutritional yeast, then drizzle in the rest of the olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste.
This will taste fresh and tart when you have finished blending. I think the key to wonderful flavor is to let it sit overnight in the refrigerator which gives the flavors have a chance to really meld together. Enjoy with a crusty bread, on pasta or drizzled over meat or vegetables.
Approximately 4 servings (on meat or pasta) - approximately 200-250 calories per serving.
I chose the above ingredients for their nutritional value. Basil contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ursolic acid. Garlic contains sulpher compounds that have been shown to lower blood lipids. Olive oil is full of polyphenols (compounds found in plants) and is nutrient rich. It is a healthy fat that is good for your body, including your brain. Here is a link to a study if you want to geek out. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5877547/
Nutritional yeast adds a cheesy, nutty flavor that is found in traditional pesto. It is also high in B vitamins and magnesium.