My favourite Go Green Pesto

I love having different dips, spreads, dressings and toppings available. This makes a salad with some brown rice an abundant meal to me. Most traditional recipes use pine kernels and parmigiano. Mine is adapted to a plant and more local diet. I can get everything except the nutritional yeast from close by. In jars, this pesto will stay for weeks!

Zero Waste tipp:

*** I clean and keep any jars I might buy, all sizes and shapes. Sometimes I ask restaurants and friends to give theirs to me instead of throwing them. (Which makes me a gypsy with 2 suitcases of jars atm ;)). Small ones are better for pesto, since the pesto can spoil once impurities enter the jar.


3 cups basil leaves

1.5 cups roasted sunflower seeds OR almonds*

1 tbs salt

1 cup olive oil

2-3 cloves garlic (or more, if you're like me ;))

2 tbs nutritional yeast flakes

opt: I usually add some other wild leaves, like beetroot greens, rocket, nasturtium...


Take the stems of the basil, roast the sunflower seeds in a pan,let them cool down and mix all ingredients in a blender or in a narrow high vessel with a hand blender. Fill in clean jars with a clean spoon (not the one you licked ;)), flatten surface and cover with a sip of olive oil.

Keep in fridge, and gift some away.

My very favourite way of eating this if the speed meal of boiling whole grain pasta, adding some broccoli/cauliflower florets or cut string beans into the pasta=water for the last 2-3 minutes. Rinse the pasta+veg, and keep 1/3 cup of hot pasta water to mix with some teaspoons of pesto. Mix pesto into the pasta and enjoy with a colourful salad!

Otherwise I use it as a spread on bread, as a topping for quiche, pizza, or I add it to sauces and dressings.

* here in Portugal, almonds are the most local seed to use, sunflower seeds are usually a lot more affordable and are usually from the EU when I buy them here. You can also use walnuts or pumpkin seeds, but be aware that both have a very distinct taste - depending on what you want to go for.

Extra tipp:

*** You can freeze some of the pesto in ice-cube forms, or make small portions with a spoon onto some reused plastic bag. The you just mix the pesto ice with the pasta water and tadaaa - fresh pesto with summer basil all year long :)

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