I love pesto. I clearly remember the first time that I ate it. I was a teenager in high school, and I was invited to a friends birthday party. She wasn’t a very close friend, and so I didn’t know that her parents were ‘foodies’, and the party food was gourmet delights, not chips and lollies! One such gourmet offering was pesto pasta. It was cold, but it was amazing, I couldn’t stop eating it. I was hooked, and have been ever since.
I like that making pesto is fairly forgiving, and you can adjust the amounts, or use a bit less basil or a bit more oil, without too much fuss, and still get a good result. I did try making it without cheese once, and whilst many people eat it that way, it just wasn’t the same for me. You can use other nuts, of course, but the macadamias are low in FODMAPs and Australian grown… and delicious. Toasting them is worth the little extra effort.
macadamia basil pesto
About 1 1/2 to 2 cups
- 5 to 6 cups fresh basil (loosely packed) – about 3 bunches
- 1 cup macadamias (toasted)
- 1 tsp garlic infused oil
- 3/4 to 1 cup oil (macadamia, or mild olive oil)
- 150gm block of parmesan or pecorino (hard aged cheese), or about 1 to 2 cups finely shredded parmesan or pecorino
- 1/4 tsp salt
- If desired, toast your macadamias in a small fry pan, under a grill, or briefly in the microwave, until lightly golden brown. Be careful, as they can burn easily. Allow to cool.
- Remove basil leaves from stems, and discard stems.
- If required, rinse basil leaves and dry in a salad spinner.
- Using the fine (2mm) grating plate of a food processer, finely grate the block of parmesan and set aside.
- Put basil leaves, macadamias, garlic oil, 3/4 cup oil, and 1 cup parmesan into a food processor, and blend until coarsely combined.
- Add more oil if you prefer your pesto to be less thick/ paste like.
- Add more parmesan if you prefer a cheesy and salty pesto.
- Add salt, if required (it may be salty enough for you, just using the parmesan)
- Store in a clean, airtight jar or container in the fridge for 3 days, up to a week.
- Freeze in ice cube trays, or small containers. The defrosted pesto will be dark green, and probably needs to be used in cooking, rather than the same way you would use it fresh. Use in risotto, pasta sauce and pizza sauce.