That Pesto

Pesto. The most delicious ever found companion to your pasta or a complete disaster. In my opinion, pesto becomes disastrous every time it has too much oil in it, drowning your whole pasta in the oil. I find most ready-made store-bought pestos way too oily and sometimes I’ve had that drowning pasta experience in a good restaurant too. I don’t understand – why to cover the delicious nut and herb flavours with a ridiculously large amount of oil? I am not saying that oil is bad – I think oil (extra virgin olive oil especially) is very tasty and also remarkably healthy when used in moderation. However, with my above explained history with pesto, I have decided to make my own homemade pestos always completely without the oil.

Usually, I make pesto when I haven’t planned for anything specific that I’d like to cook. This is because pesto can be made of basically any leafy greens and herbs you have on hand and almost any nuts or seeds you have available. (Of course, the original pesto always uses basil, oil and pine nuts, but why not experiment a bit with this dish as well?) I always like to have multiple leafy greens and fresh herbs in my fridge and plenty of nuts and seeds in my cupboard so pesto making is pretty easy for me. My absolute favourite homemade pesto combination, that I’m about to give you the recipe for, is made of kale, cashews, lemon, garlic and either fresh coriander of basil, depending on which one I have on hand. Even though oil free, this pesto is a super nourishing and satisfying addition to any pasta dish. My personal suggestion is to serve the kale-cashew pesto with wholegrain spelt pasta, steamed pumpkin, haricots verts, leafy greens or sunflower sprouts and black Kalamata olives. Sprinkled with that nutritional yeast of course!

*Nutritional yeast is a food supplement containing a significant amount of vitamin B and protein + minerals and thus a recommended addition to a mostly or completely vegetarian/vegan diet. Besides, nutritional yeast adds delicious aromatic cheesy taste to your food and acts as a natural flavor enhancer! (Finnish: oluthiiva)

Kale and cashew Pesto

What you will need:

Serves 1

2 large handfuls of kale

a handful of fresh basil or coriander

1/2dl cashews

1tbsp lemon juice

1/3tsp granulated garlic

water to thin (I use 1/4dl)

Himalayan salt to taste

How to do it:

  • Remove the stems from your kale and then place it into your food processor along with all other ingredients (except water).
  • Process until smooth, add water until desired consistency is reached.
  • Mix with your pasta and then add salt to taste!

xx a

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