Family

Nut free pesto

Firstly, I know what you’re thinking “Another pesto recipe?!”
Yes, sorry, following the wild garlic, i’ve come up with this. This came around because Ruari has started eating pesto, in fact, it’s now his favourite meal. Finally, we have moved on from plain pasta! He likes it so much that he wanted to take pesto pasta for lunch. ‘Praise the Lord’ I thought to myself, because i’m sick of getting a half eaten cheese sandwich back every day from this picky eater. Well to be fair, sometimes it’s a half eaten ham sandwich. So all on board the pesto pasta train I was for lunch! I packed it up, it was ready to go and about five minutes before we were due to leave for school I suddenly had the realisation ‘It’s full of nuts! Bloody hell, what am I THINKING!’ So I whacked together a cheese sandwich and explained to him in the car on the way to school about why he couldn’t take pesto pasta for lunch. I promised him that I would try to find a nut free pesto so that he could take it for lunch. So I looked around and I couldn’t really find, well, anything. I went to health food shops, I scoured Ocado (and they have EVERYTHING). Nope. Nada. So I started to think about what I could use as a nut substitute and eventually, it came to me; breadcrumbs. But really, really stale rock hard breadcrumbs. From a very good loaf of bread, I don’t think pappy white sliced loaf breadcrumbs would work in this. Don’t get me wrong, i’m a fan of a pappy white loaf, it has it’s place; bacon sarnies, sandwiches for a kids party, dipped in Heinz tomato soup but I can’t see it working for breadcrumbs in this pesto. Let me know if i’m wrong! I actually used these breadcrumbs from Waitrose:

Another point that I would like to make, is that this post is not aimed at anybody directly but when you read articles about incidents in schools due to nut allergies and people bringing nut products in, and when people are receiving letters from their child’s nursery/school repeatedly asking not to bring anything containing nuts in, you deduce that this is continuing to happen.

Ok, down to business, here’s the recipe:

30g fresh basil leaves
30g breadcrumbs
30g parmesan cheese, grated
1 clove garlic
pepper
extra virgin olive oil

Put the garlic clove in a mini chopper and whizz until finely chopped. Add the basil and whizz again until finely chopped. Add the breadcrumbs and parmesan, black pepper and a really good glug of olive oil, start with 8 tablespoons, you can add more. Whizz it all together. Decant into a container and add more olive oil if needed, so that the pesto has a layer of oil covering it, this will help prevent discolouration.

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