Nut Free Pesto [Miser’s Pesto/바질 페스토]

by 美儀


I just googled this and it seems my idea isn’t very original after all..pfft..

After paying RM15+ for a shambo at O’Briens (I should add that the Damansara Heights branch has TERRIBLE hygiene issues), I decided that I should make my own. I have previously made this before, but the shambo reminded me that my basil was ready for harvest.

I used to follow the Italian Grandmother recipe, but I was shunned at for not using a blender. Blending is great when the basil is old though.

Initially I was looking for some almonds for the recipe, but I was informed that we had run out; so I dug around and found a bag of sunflower seeds I bought ages ago. Hence the birth of the miser’s/nut-free pesto. I made it like this mainly because I was being cheap, but this is great for anyone with nut allergies. You can even make it vegan/dairy-free if you just leave out the parmy.

I didn’t really measure the amount I used except for the oil. The pictures will give you an idea of how much I used of everything, but I’ll just try to guesstimate the amount so I can put down an ingredients list..ngek..


2 cups basil
A sad amount of grated parmesan (I wasn’t being cheap here, I just ran out)
2/3 cup raw sunflower seeds
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup olive oil

1. Pluck, wash and dry basil leaves. Discard the stems (you could save them to make fagots for stock/soup).

2. Blend the sunflower seeds, then add the garlic and blend some more.

3. Add the basil leaves and olive oil. (I measured the oil by adding 1/4 cup first, then 1/4 later.)

4. Blend till a paste forms.

5. Refrigerate in an airtight container.

You can make it according to the consistency you prefer. I made mine thicker because I have been using it as a spread. If you decide to use it for pasta later, you can just add a little more oil when you are cooking.

The thing about this recipe though, is that the surface oxides really quickly. It looked a little scary the first time I made it, but a wonderful person has discovered the solution of adding lemon juice. She also toasts the sunflower seeds before blending as well. I will try these techniques soon.

Meanwhile, bon appétit!