16 November 2009

Nut-free pesto

Technically, pine nuts are 'seeds', but plenty of people who are allergic to treenuts are also allergic to pine nuts. We haven't yet been tested for pine nuts so until then, we'll use this recipe. And it's unbelievably tasty!

You can even omit the "parmesan" if you like or can't find the Parmazano that we use, because in my opinion the pesto-y flavour comes from the garlic and the ground up sunflower kernels. Courtesy of Alice Sherwood's Allergy-friendly Cookbook.

Not so great for the seed-allergic, but if you can tolerate them, go "nuts"!!

Basil "Pesto"


50g fresh basil leaves
45g sunflower kernels
2 garlic cloves
25g dairy-free Parmazano
240ml extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

In a food processor, blitz all the ingredients except the oil to form a rough paste. Add the oil in a thin stream or a little at a time until it forms a thick paste. Stir through hot pasta. Remember to add a layer of extra virgin olive oil to the container when storing so that the paste is completely covered or it will go rancid very quickly. Not sure how long this keeps - doesn't last more than a few days in our house - but I'd suggest no longer than a week, just to be on the safe side.

Sun-dried Tomato "Pesto"


I experimented with this the other day, and was just as delicious. Using the same recipe, substitute sundried or semi-sundried tomatoes for the basil. To be honest, I can't remember the exact quantities so start with about half a cup of the tomatoes and then blitz away until you're happy with the consistency and taste.

You can also add some freshly chopped parsley to liven things up....

Oops, chef forgot to wipe the plate....


  1. Almost a recipe a day!

    I'm going to need to write more songs to compete, obviously.

    Good work. Looks good. Subscribed and cross posted.


  2. Looks good, but I can't find any sunflower seeds without traces of nuts!

  3. I get a variety of brands - but none of them from the main supermarket chains, which definitely have nut traces. Try your local healthfood shop :)