Pauline Dwyer Shares Her Delicious Recipe For Mediterranean Fresh Garlic & Basil Pesto.
Fresh garlic, also known as green garlic or spring garlic is cultivated on the Maltese Islands and harvested around September – October. Fresh garlic is the younger version of the garlic bulb and is much like its sibling the spring onion. Garlic, in general, has been used as food and medicine for thousands of years making it a wonderful addition to any meal and its pungent flavour is a requisite for many local dishes on Gozo.
Garlic has amazingly high levels of vitamins and minerals and is known for its cleansing and detoxifying properties. It also acts as a natural antibiotic and has strong anti-fungal and anti-viral effects. When feeling under the weather eating raw garlic can really help boost the immune system and therefore adding it to guacamole, hummus or soups and stews can be extremely beneficial.
With pasta being a firm favourite on Gozo, I decided to use fresh local raw garlic to make a vibrant pesto to accompany this menu staple. This pesto packs a real punch and the insanely garlicky taste will leave you craving more. To make a vegan version, swap out the cheese for Nutritional Yeast which has a nutty, cheesy taste that is enhanced by garlic and salt. Nutritional Yeast is a great source of Vitamin B12 which is particularly essential for those on a vegan diet.
This scrumptious pesto can be used in a variety of ways, from tossing with pasta to spreading on freshly baked bread or as an accompaniment to fish…you choose!
Time: 15 Minutes
- 1-2 tablespoons of chopped or minced garlic
- 3 cups fresh basil
- ½ cup pine nuts
- ½ cup almonds (or nut of your choice e.g. cashew, walnuts, hazelnuts…)
- 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup grated parmesan (or nutritional yeast if vegan)
- Juice from ½ a lemon
- Pinch of sea salt
- Add the garlic, nuts, basil, parmesan, lemon and salt to a food processor (pestle & mortar works well here too), slowly pouring in the olive oil as you go and pulse a few times until combined or until it reaches your desired consistency.
- Transfer to a clean jar and keep in the fridge for 5-7 days, also freezes rather well.
Author and Images: Pauline Dwyer
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