Thanks to my Lebanese sister-in-law who seriously makes the most fabulous lemon olive oil salad I have ever taste, I, trying to mimic that recipe, have become known as the salad queen amongst any of my friends who have me over for dinner or come over here to eat. The Dr in The Kitchen gets commissioned to salad making duty every time! And yes, it being summer with all of the precious fresh local produce, it is even more so at this time of year.
So the other night when I was at my friend’s house, naturally they made dinner and naturally I made the salad. I brought over most of what I needed but being the foodie that I am I had to check out their fridge to see if there was any other new items that I could sample, taste and of course experiment with (and it is this mixing and trying of new things which is the precise reason why my salads never taste like my sister in laws…fyi.) And voila, there it was, the magic ingredient du jour, a container of yummy pesto!
So I took a tablespoon and mixed it into this lovely lemon pepper balsamic and olive oil salad and I have to say, it was totally delicious! Later, as I was reading the ingredients on the tub, I was seriously disappointed, sunflower oil, canola oil, olive oil, not even extra virgin, arggghh! It did taste really good mind you, but not what I would want to put in my body every day.
So the next day I went on a hunt for healthy pesto. I have to say, not easy to find! Most are made with omega-6 vegetable oils, none were made only with extra virgin olive oil. I was also hoping to find one with walnuts, high in omega 3 versus pine nuts, that was not happening either.
So if you can’t buy it, the Dr in The Kitchen says, who cares, we can make our own! Here is a simple yummy healthier pesto recipe…enjoy!
- 2 cups packed of fresh basil leaves
- 3-4 cloves of minced or roasted garlic or
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil plus
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 pinch fresh ground black pepper or cayenne
- optional: 1/2 cup walnuts or pine nuts (preferably raw)
- optional: add romano or parmesan cheese if you are not wanting a raw, vegan recipe
- Other optional ingredients: I like to blend in some kale leaves and sometimes even a dab of kelp to make this dip super green and energizing!
Place all pesto ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth, with just a few nuts visible for texture.