Basil and almond pesto

One of the simplest and most versatile savoury dishes to cook at home is pesto.
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Ingredients

  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • 1 bunch fresh Italian basil, leaves only
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • ⅓ cup best quality extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 teaspoon salt flakes
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Method

Step 1

Heat up a frypan and dry-fry almonds without any oil. Turn regularly until nicely browned and then set aside and leave to cool.

Step 2

Blend cooled almonds, basil, lemon, garlic, EVOO and salt in a food processor.

Step 3

Taste and then adjust seasoning as required.

Step 4

Use immediately or cover and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.

A few tips:

  • You can use whole natural or blanched almonds, but slivered almonds toast more evenly.
  • Skip the nut toasting step altogether if you’re in a hurry, but the toasting really brings out the flavour of the nuts.
  • Try one clove of garlic first – if it’s not enough you could add another half to whole clove. Be aware that the garlic flavour will strengthen and deepen as the pesto comes together so err on the side of caution.
  • Use the best extra virgin olive oil you have at home for this dish, you’ll really notice the difference in this pesto.