|This is a nut-free version of pesto using sunflower seeds instead of pine nuts. To get a truly sensational pesto sauce you need to use a mortar and pestle rather than a food processor or blender. Pounding the basil results in a beautiful creamy sauce and it’s much more fun to make.
|Season: Summer, Autumn
Serves: 6 at home or 24 in the classroom
Fresh from the garden: basil, garlic
Recipe Source: Adapted from the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation
- metric measuring spoons and cups
- 2 clean tea towels
- chopping boards & non-slip mats
- 1 small knife
- small non-stick frying pan
- mortar and pestle
- 1 medium bowl
- serving plates
- 60 g parmesan cheese
- ½ cup sunflower seeds (or pine nuts)
- 2 large handfuls basil (about 2 cups well-packed leaves)
- 4 garlic cloves
- sea salt
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
|What to do
- Set out your equipment and ingredients.
- Weigh the parmesan and grate it.
- Place 2 tablespoons of the seeds (or nuts) in the frying pan and dry-fry over a medium heat until golden. Set aside to use as garnish.
- Gently pull the basil leaves from their stems. Rinse the leaves and dry by rolling in a tea towel. Place the leaves in mortar and the stems in the red compost bucket.
- Peel the papery skin off the garlic and put in the mortar with a little sea salt and pound until the garlic is a paste.
- Add the rest of the seeds (or nuts) and basil leaves to the mortar and pound the mix until you have a rough paste.
- Slowly mix in the oil. You should have a creamy paste, the same consistency as mayonnaise.
- Using the spatula, scrape the pesto into the serving bowls with the parmesan and stir to combine. Taste for salt and season if necessary.
- Toss with the pasta and garnish with the toasted seeds (or nuts) and some extra basil leaves.