Sunflower Seed Pesto

I had no nuts.  No walnuts, certainly no pine nuts.  But I did have a bunch of basil from my CSA this week, not to mention lovely parmesan cheese from Greenling.  My mom thought the idea of using sunflower seeds was gross, but it actually worked really well, though you will notice it created a darker colored pesto, not the bright green you get from untoasted nuts.

This with a loaf of bread was lunch on Saturday.  Yummy!

2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts, walnuts, or sunflower seeds
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.

Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Makes about a cup.

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1 Response so far »

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    […] cups of fresh packed basil leaves 1/2 cup parmesan cheese 1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts (I have also used sunflower seeds in the past) 1/2 cup of olive oil 3 cloves of fresh garlic salt and pepper to […]


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