By Esther Boateng
Make any dish fit for royalty with this humble but healthy pesto. The name ‘Basil’ originates from the Greek word ‘basileus’, which means king, or ‘basilikon, which means ‘royal’. Traditionally, this recipe is made with wonderfully aromatic basil leaves, but if you’re not keen on the strong taste of basil, substitute spinach for half the basil.
I love the smell of toasted pine nuts. Add them to a moderately heated pan, and toast for roughly 2 minutes until golden brown; that’s all you need, and of course, a steady hand to constantly toss them around in the pan to ensure they brown evenly.
Pesto is super quick and easy to rustle up. I prefer to make a fresh batch whenever I want a quick supper. Parmesan is a popular choice when preparing this recipe, but I prefer the taste of Pecorino Romano or Gruyère, pretty much any hard cheese can do the job.
Serve this easy pesto over a bed of rice and the protein of your choice, such as sauteed shrimp or sliced grilled chicken, and you’re done.
- 1 cup cooked Dr. Cowan’s Garden Carolina Gold Rice per person
- 3 cups basil (or a blend of basil and spinach leaves)
1/4 cup Dr. Cowan’s Garden Crispy Sprouted Organic Almonds
- 1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts
1/2 cup Dr. Cowan’s Garden Certified Organic Five Seed Oil
Blend or olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. Dr. Cowan’s Garden Pepper Salt
1/4 tsp. Dr. Cowan’s Garden Organic High Protein Leaf Powder
- 1/2 cup shredded cheese (parmesan, pecorino romano or gruyere)
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- salt to taste
- 1-2 Tbsp. lemon juice (optional)
- Measure one serving of rice per person (1 cup cooked) and prepare according to package instructions.
- Rinse the basil leaves.
- Measure a quarter cup of almonds and crush them slightly with a mortar and pestle.
- Add basil, almonds, and the rest of the ingredients to a food processor and blend.
- Do a taste test and add more salt or lemon if necessary; continue to blend.
- Scrape down the sides of the food processor and continue to blend until it resembles a thick paste, or until you get your desired consistency.
- Portion the rice into bowls and add your protein choice. Top with pesto and serve.
If you want to crush the almonds before they go in the food processor, and you don’t have a mortar and pestle, put them in a zip log bag and bash them with a rolling pin until they’re slightly crushed.