I admit it. I will not pay grocery store prices for pine nuts (or fresh basil, for that matter). Instead, I did a bit of investigating and found that some frugal cooks actually like to use the humble sunflower kernel in Italian pestos. Since my garden is finally beginning to produce a bit of food here and there, I decided it was time to make some pesto of my own.
Of course, I can never leave a recipe well enough alone. I have to change it up for what I have on hand. My basil is growing, but it is slightly less than abundant. It seems still cruel to cut too much at this point. BUT, my mom had an overabundance of lemon balm from an established plant. We both decided that would be a good addition. It is not quite as strongly flavored as basil, but does impart a lemony goodness to our foods. She brought over a few sprigs today, and we supplemented with my basil. Here is what we came up with.
Sunflower Basil Pesto
This is one of the recipes included in my new cookbook project, Low Carbing Among Friends.
This recipe is available in the book, along with over 60 additional 24/7 Low Carb Diner recipes. By ordering the book, you get more than 300 favorite gluten free recipes from four other well known low carb cooking experts…Jennifer Eloff of Splendid Low Carbing cookbook fame, Kent Altena, the Atkins Diet Geek and You Tube star, nutritionist and author Maria Emmerich of Maria’s Nutritious and Delicious Journal, and popular blogger and food stylist, Carolyn Ketchum of All Day I Dream About Food. Unlike any other cookbook you may own, this one is a compilation of mini cookbooks featuring the talents of these well known low carbers. Think of it as a “best of” project.
Low Carbing Among Friends also features recipes from numerous other talented low carbing friends and recommendations from the medical community who recognize the health benefits of low carb, gluten free living. To preorder your copy, visit http://www.amongfriends.us The official release date is 11/11/11, so pre-order now for a discount.
Being a cheapskate, I did use the cheese in a can. I know, purists would just die, but they don't have to feed a family on my budget! I think it is still really good, and cost a fraction of the kind in the tiny little jars.
Because a little goes a long way, My mom and I divided it up. Already, I made a cream cheese pesto dip to serve with fresh veggies. I will have enough to dress some chicken breasts and make a Pesto Tuna salad.
I have heard that it is a good idea to freeze pesto in ice cube trays to use later. For my next batch, I will do that. Freeze the cubes, pop them out and store them in a ziploc bag to use in soups, sauces and casseroles.
Fresh from the garden. Can't beat the price.