Q: How can I make basil pesto healthier, with less fat? The bought ones seem to have more than 50 per cent fat and more than 10 per cent saturated fat.
A: Making your own pesto means you can control what goes into it, including the fat. I like to make pesto using cashew nuts instead of pine nuts: they are cheaper and give a similar flavour. I also use less Parmesan cheese and oil than most recipes suggest. When you process the ingredients, add lemon juice before adding any oil. Then add oil gradually, just until the pesto starts to come together. This should produce a tasty pesto with less fat overall.
This pesto recipe is a general guide and has only 25 per cent fat and around seven per cent saturated fat.
HFG basil pesto
2 cloves garlic
2 cups fresh basil
1 lemon, juice
1/4 cup cashew nuts
3 tablespoons olive oil
2/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Blend garlic, basil, lemon juice and nuts in a processor until smooth. Add oil gradually in a thin stream until mixture comes together. Add Parmesan, blend well and season with salt and pepper.