Sunflower Basil Pesto

Sunflower Basil Pesto

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Ingredients

Adjust Servings:
2 cups Fresh Basil Leaves
0.25 cup raw Sunflower Seeds
0.3 cup Parmesan Cheese
1 large Garlic Clove
1 Lemon
0.5 teaspoon Sea Salt
0.25 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
4 ounces Pasta (I used Casarecce)

Sunflower Basil Pesto

  • 15 minutes
  • Serves 2
  • Easy

Ingredients

Directions

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Easy, blender sunflower seed and sweet basil pesto!

Growing your own herbs is very satisfying. Of course, I’m still learning as I go and I’ve killed a few plants in my lifetime.

The good news is that my basil plant is still alive and well! One of the secrets is to water and pruning it often.

Whenever I prune my basil plant, I’m left with a good amount of basil leaves.

So what to do with all that basil? Pesto always comes to mind!

This is sort of controversial but I don’t like pine nuts. They are very expensive and I don’t particularly care for the flavor either.

Pine nuts are traditionally used in basil pesto but I prefer using seeds. In this case, I am using sunflower seeds!

Sunflower seeds contain magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, protein and vitamin E. They are also rich in the B complex vitamins, which are essential for a healthy nervous system.

If you do not have any sunflower seeds on hand, you can use any other type of seed or nut! I also love using pumpkin seeds or almonds to make pesto!

 

 

Steps

1
Done

Let's Talk Basil

Whether you are using store-bought or home grown, gently wash the basil leaves and discard the stems.

You will need 2 cups (the more the better) of whole basil leaves.

2
Done

Toast The Sunflower Seeds

Heat a dry skillet on high heat and add 1/4 cup of raw sunflower seeds (or any other seed or nut).

Lower the heat to medium and lightly toast the seeds.

Keep and eye on it and frequently stir or toss the seeds in the skillet to avoid burning.

As soon as you can smell the toasted seeds and they are lightly golden, remove the seeds from the heat and allow to cool a bit.

3
Done

Get Your Food Processor

Add the washed basil leaves, toasted sunflower seeds, grated parmesan cheese, a large garlic clove, sea salt and black pepper and pulse on low for a few seconds.

Next, with the food processor on low and using the feeding tube, stream in the extra virgin olive oil in a slow and steady stream.

If your food processor doe snot have a feeding tube, simply add the extra virgin olive oil in two stages to ensure it is fully incorporated.

Once the olive oil is in, allow the food processor to run on low for 3-4 minutes.

4
Done

How To Store The Pesto

If you are not using your pesto right away or have some left over, pour it into a glass jar and seal with an air-tight lid.

Store your pesto in the refrigerator for up to a week.

5
Done

Combine Pesto & Pasta

If you are ready to eat the pesto with some pasta, boil your pasta until al-dente then add it to a skillet along with the pesto on medium-low heat.

Stir to combine and add pasta water if the sauce is a bit thick and/or dry.

6
Done

Garnish & Serve

Garnish your pesto pasta with some more grated parmesan cheese and some fresh basil leaves!

I also love adding green peas, broccoli, spinach, or sausage to this dish!

Possibilities are pretty much endless!

Joni

Hi guys, so glad you are here! My food blog is about easy, colorful and mostly healthy recipes. I grew up in Germany and have been in the states since 2002. Currently, I am living in sunny Miami, FL! Please leave me a comment if you have questions or recipe requests and also follow me on social media via @foodbyjonister. Happy cooking and eating!

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