Pesto is such a versatile sauce because it can be used in many different ways – mixed in pasta, in sandwiches, over pizza, etc. Traditional pesto is usually made with cheese and a lot of oil – not great if you’re trying to stick to a healthy lifestyle. In my recipe, I substitute most of the oil with frozen green peas – which not only add a fantastic green color, they are rich in vitamin K, manganese, vitamin B1, and fiber. Lemon juice brightens up this sauce’s flavor and mimics the sourness of cheese.

Ingredients:

Makes 1 3/4 cups
1/4 cup cashews, almonds, walnuts, or hulled sunflower seeds
250g bag of frozen peas (about 1 1/2 cups), thawed
2 garlic cloves
1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/4 cup lemon juice or calamansi juice
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp water
3/4 tsp coarse sea salt or to taste
1/4 tsp black pepper or to taste

Instruction:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F / 180 C / gas mark 4. Roast the nuts or seeds until toasty and fragrant. Set aside and let cool.
    slivered almonds – 5 minutes
    walnuts – 7 minutes
    cashews – 10 minutes
    whole almonds – 12 to 15 minutes
    sunflower seeds – 15 to 20 minutes
  1. Place the nuts / seeds and garlic in a food processor and process until ground. Add the peas, lemon juice, olive oil, water, salt, and pepper and process until smooth. Adjust seasonings accordingly.
  2. Store in the refrigerator up to 7 days. Toss with freshly cooked pasta, use as a spread in sandwiches, or as a dip with fresh vegetable sticks (cucumber, singkamas, carrots, celery).