I guess I'm in a raw kick on the blog this week & wanting to share some of my creations. I have a bag of fresh pine nuts in the fridge, which have lent themselves perfectly to homemade pesto with various greens. Because I'm already getting the perfect amount of fat from the pine nuts here, I didn't want to add oil. I wondered if just lemon juice would work without over-powering the pesto. So far, it has wonderfully. Arugula is such a strong, peppery green, it holds up well to the lemon's tartness. We love this with fresh basil as well.
This raw pesto lets the simple list of fresh ingredients shine. Because the pine nuts are fresh, this is truly raw. Straight from the shell, these nuts are soft & meaty, unlike the dry, hard variety you'll find in the store. Their flavor is more mellow, & I am always thrilled to find little road side stands or trucks selling brown paper bags full of pine nuts. This bag is from my trip home in December, & they have kept well in the fridge.
My current favorite combination with pesto might seem kind of bizarre: pineapple & berries (blue or black preferably, though strawberries will do). I thin the pesto by whisking in water & toss it all together in a salad of romaine or even butter lettuce. If I use arugula, I snip fresh basil or lemon balm to toss along with it. It helps balance the strong bitterness of arugula. Mango also goes really well with arugula. Dave likes drizzling this pesto right over roasted potatoes, & a basil version was awesome on pizza last Friday.
- 1 - 2 cups arugula or 2 cups basil
- 1/2 cup pine nuts (fresh if possible)
- lemon juice from one lemon
First chop herbs & pine nuts in a food processor or high-power blender; add lemon juice & blend to desired consistency. Sometimes I like it sort of rough; other times I like it super smooth.
*I know something this simple might not be worthy of the "recipe" title, but I just want to share pesto can be made without oil. This had never crossed my mind until now!