What better way to celebrate basil season than to make fresh pesto? That potent, garlicky sauce is the bedrock of many quick, simple meals.
Not only is it delicious, but it’s loaded with nutrients and antioxidants! Pesto contains vitamins A, K, and E, as well as calcium, iron, and essential fatty acids.
The only problem is that unless you happen to have a free or cheap source of them, pine nuts are outrageously expensive.
You can solve that problem using the humble, thrifty sunflower seed. Heck, if you grow sunflowers, you can find pretty much every single ingredient for this in your backyard garden. You may even find that Sunflower Seed Pesto is your new favorite condiment and forget that pine nuts ever even existed in pesto!
Coarsely grind 1/3 of a cup of roasted sunflower seeds in a food processor – don’t turn them into powder! If the seeds are salted that’s okay – just don’t add salt to the pesto.
Wash 2 cups of fresh basil leaves and then pat them dry gently. Avoid getting too much stem.
In the food processor, pulse the sunflower seeds and 4-6 cloves of garlic. Then add the basil, 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, and 1/2 cup of olive oil and pulse until it is the consistency that you desire.
Stir pesto into hot pasta for a fresh, frugal meal. You can top it with additional cheese too!
For more delicious ways to use your basil, click HERE!