Nut Free Parmesan Pesto
Based on the name of my blog, you might guess that rosemary is my favorite herb. Don’t get me wrong–I love rosemary (especially with potatoes or buttermilk biscuits), but without a doubt, nothing tops basil. It’s probably my favorite plant of all time. I have a huge basil bush growing in an old wash basin outside my front door and another smaller plant in my kitchen window. When ever I pick some, I always stop to smell its sweet aroma. Basil has such a distinct and delightful flavor and I toss some in almost any recipe that calls for herbs. Nonetheless, my outdoor plant has been growing out of control and started going to seed. Since I had such an overabundance, I decided to make some fresh Nut Free Parmesan Pesto. It’s a great way to use up extra basil and can be frozen to enjoy all year round!
Ingredients for Nut Free Parmesan Pesto
You don’t need many ingredients to make some amazing pesto. Just a LOT of basil, Parmesan cheese, garlic scapes, and olive oil. One batch requires two and a half cups of basil which seems like a lot, but once ground in the food processor, it reduces considerably. The whole recipe only makes a half to three-quarters of a cup of pesto, but you don’t need to use a lot at one time, so one batch should last a while.
For the cheese, be sure to get a block of Parmesan and grate it at home. Avoid the pre-shredded stuff because it will give the pesto a grainier texture and it also contains anticaking agents, cellulose, and mold inhibitors which are not things you want to eat!
Garlic scapes are the green shoots of the garlic plant that can be harvested and eaten before the actual garlic bulb is ready. If you don’t have access to garlic scapes (I’ve never seen them in stores), minced garlic can be used instead.
The best part about Nut Free Parmesan Pesto, is that it doesn’t contain any nuts! Pesto is one of those foods that nut-allergic folks really have to look out for, since it’s commonly made with pine nuts. I’ve never been able to eat pesto at a restaurant or bought from the store, but when I make it myself, I can still enjoy the goodness of this basil sauce!
How to Serve Nut Free Parmesan Pesto
Nut Free Parmesan Pesto is delicious on just about anything. Today I had some on sautéed beet roots and greens with feta cheese. It was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten and incredibly simple! Aside from serving with veggies or salads, toss a little with whole grain pasta or spread it on a fresh piece of crusty French bread with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella. The possibilities are endless with this simple green sauce! I’d love to see how you use it, so be sure to tag @roots_and_rosemary on Instagram with your creations!