Favourite Recipes... Dairy Free Pesto

Earlier this week, we shared some of our homemade food favourites on our Instagram stories, and so many of you asked us if you could have our Dairy-Free pesto recipe, we've decided to share it here!

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When you live very rurally, like we do, the option of popping to the corner deli or organic market for some delicious just-made pesto doesn't exist, so when we get a craving for something like this, we have to make it ourselves. 

Luckily, our amazing local greengrocers in the next village (3 miles away) sells huge bunches of fresh herbs. These fabulous bundles are our go-to winter food treat to keep morale up and remind us of summer, as well as boosting our immune systems. One of my favourite things to do - apart from the usual culinary uses for herbs - is to make my own pesto.

My husband is severely allergic to cheese and milk, so unfortunately the usual pesto recipes don't work for both of us, so with some trial and error I invented this one.  

It's extremely easy, fast, and isn't fixed with its ingredients. It doesn't matter what herbs you use. It doesn't matter what nuts you use. The quantities don't really matter either, just put in however much you have, or however much works for you and your personal taste. For example, I like my pesto to be pretty lemony, so I put in lots of lemon.

This is also a great recipe to use up any more flavourful, non-watery salad leaves (such as kale, rocket and watercress) which need finishing to save them from being wasted. Sometimes I make lemon rice with big wedges of lemon cooked in with the rice, and afterwards I rinse off the now-soft lemon and save it to chuck in with my next batch of pesto, rind and all (unwaxed is of course better if you want to do this)!

This dairy free pesto takes around 5 to 10 minutes to make.

The only major bit of kitchen equipment which you'll need is a blender/food processor/nutribullet.

This amount makes around one medium jam jar full. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 3oz nuts - my favourites are cashews, walnuts, and Brazil nuts. Use just one kind, or mix them.
  • 2 large bunches of fresh herbs - at the moment I like mostly coriander (cilantro) with some parsley in there too, but use whatever is available to you.
  • Juice of 1 lemonor more if you want.
  • Olive oilI like organic and unfiltered.
  • Crumbly sea salt and fresh pepper to your taste.

First of all, toast the nuts either under the grill or on the hob. Their natural oils can make them heat up quickly, so watch they don't burn!  

Roughly chop or tear up the herbs, and pack them all into your whizzing machine of choice. It'll look like there's way too many, but just squash them down.

Add the cooled nuts, the lemon juice, and some salt and pepper. Pour in a good slug of olive oil - a small cupful should do it. It does seem a lot, but it's important because it helps to preserve the freshness of the herbs once everything has been mixed together.

Whizz until all is evenly combined, then put in a squeaky clean jam jar. You might want to add a little more olive oil on to depending on consistency, as this again helps with preserving the herbs.  Your pesto will easily keep in the fridge for up to one week, but it probably won't last that long because it's so delicious!

 Here, the pesto has been in the fridge for 24 hours so the oil has solidified, making the pesto hold together more. It will return to being more runny when it's back at room temperature. 

Here, the pesto has been in the fridge for 24 hours so the oil has solidified, making the pesto hold together more. It will return to being more runny when it's back at room temperature. 

As well as being amazing with any kind of pasta, we also like to eat it spread on hot toast or our favourite crackers, as an accompanying condiment to salads, or mixed into hot steamed greens like peas or purple sprouting broccoli.

If you like this recipe and would like us to share more of our easy food favourites, please leave us a comment below! We'd love to know what your favourite pesto combination is...

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