Ok, so I have been making this dairy free basil pesto with macadamia nuts for quite some time now. I stumbled upon it by accident and the story goes a little like this. Living in Hawaii is great, like I can go for afternoon swims every day great, however when it comes to traffic…not so great! I was all set driving home with my groceries and realized I forgot to buy parmesan and pine nuts, yes very essential to pesto in my mind. But not wanting to go back out into the chaos known as Hawaii afternoon traffic and not end up back home till practically midnight, I decided to be resourceful and use what was in my kitchen.
Enter macadamia nuts, my all time favorite because they taste like butter, yes you all know how I feel about butter and macadamia nuts don’t have that harsh nut flavor to them so I absolutely love them! So I played with this pesto for quite some time and finally ended up perfecting it. Yes, there are pine nuts in the recipe after all but the secret really is toasting the nuts before adding them to the pesto. This gives a wonderful, rich flavor to the pesto and takes the place of the parmesan cheese for those of you who are dairy free! Macadamia nuts are also very low in phytic acid, making them a good choice when it comes to nuts.
I usually try to keep a batch of pesto in my refrigerator as it can make for a gourmet meal in just a few seconds. Everything seems better with pesto, and its so colorful I just can’t resist. My favorite way is to add it to fried eggs in the morning or add a smear to my grain and nut free sandwich bread or fluffy white rolls with a dollop of goat cheese. You can use it to make spaghetti squash lasagna…Or you can be like me and eat it by the spoonful!
The options are endless.
Dairy Free Fresh Basil Pesto
- 4 oz fresh basil (about 4 cups)
- 1/2 cup olive oil (I recommend using Kassandrinos)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup raw pine nuts
- 1/4 cup raw macadamia nuts
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Spread nuts out on a baking sheet. Toast the nuts for 5-6 minutes or until fragrant and golden brown, watching carefully so they don’t burn.
- Allow the nuts to cool for a few minutes.
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor or in a bowl, using an immersion blender. Blend for 30 seconds, scraping down the sides and blending for an additional 30 seconds.
- Serve pesto with eggs or spread a spoonful over freshly baked grain free rolls.
- Store remaining pesto in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Tips & Tricks
I prefer to make this pesto using a bowl and immersion blender as I think it takes less clean up and also doesn’t waste as much pesto during the process.