Herbs are a fantastic way to add flavour to food. Everyone knows that. But did you know they are recognised in homeopathy for their potent medicinal properties? Before pharmaceuticals made drugs, herbs were relied on to help treat disease. Even today, herbs are used to treat sore throats, indigestion, in tea blends to help with sleep and mood, and much more.
Parsley for instance is a brilliant source of vitamin C, one of the best know anti-oxidants to help reverse oxidative stress and inflammation (damage), lower cholesterol and keep up our immune defence. Throwing herbs into soups, sauces and salads are a great way to up your daily nutrition. Pestos are such a good way of packing lots of flavour and freshness together, which can be whipped out and spooned into or over almost anything. This delicious recipe is so easy to make and goes well with pretty much anything!
♦️Big bunch of parsley, inc stalks
♦️2 fat cloves of garlic
♦️Pumpkin & seaseme seeds 70g/ half cup
♦️200-230g extra virgin olive oil or cold pressed rapeseed oil
♦️Freshly milled pepper
♦️Hard cheese such as Parmesan 50-75g
In a food processor, blitz the garlic and seeds until course crumb. Next add the parsley and blitz until finely chopped. With the motor running, slowly add the oil keeping an eye on the consistency and scrapping down the sides every now and then to keep everything incorporated. Once homogeneous, add the cheese, most of the juice from the lemon, salt and lots of pepper, adjusting as you like.
Store in a glass jar ideally, and top with some more oil to avoid it from spoiling quickly.
Feel free to mix up ingredients to your liking such as pistachios or walnuts instead of seeds (or a combo). Other fresh herbs like basil and coriander would also work.
Omit the cheese for a vegan version or use a veg cheese.
Ways to use your pesto:
Stirred into hot pasta
Drizzled over raw tomatoes (or any veg) - makes the perfect bruschetta topping
Mixed with more olive oil as a salad dressing
Stirred into couscous for a punch a flavour
Topped over soup
Dotted over pizza
Stirred into hot mashed potato- or into potato skins
Spread into sandwiches
Added to cooked mushrooms and spread onto toast
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