M may or may not have an allergy to tomatoes. It's not a strong enough reaction that we need to see an allergist. But as a kid, M's dad broke out in rashes after eating tomatoes, so the first time he showed the same signs, we assumed he was allergic and put the kibbosh on this rosy nightshade. Which means that we're always looking for alternatives to tomato-based sauces: Enter, pesto. This recipe is a little tamer for a developing palette. M isn't into the strong flavor of raw garlic, so this pesto uses both roasted garlic and roasted garlic oil. We combine it with all varieties of pasta and veg. (One favorite is roasted butternut squash, bocconcini, and mini wagon wheel pasta.) Pictured above are teeny tiny Trader Joe's ravioli. Added bonus: This pesto is dairy free so we've eaten a lot of it during our Whole 30!
1 cup tightly packed fresh basil
2- 3 garlic cloves
3 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs roasted garlic oil
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup toasted almonds, walnuts, or cashews
To roast the garlic: Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Peel the garlic cloves (chop in half if they're extra large). Place in an oven-proof bowl or container (I usually use a small glass Ball Jar on a cookie sheet in case of spillage) and fill a container with oil until it covers the garlic completely. Place the uncovered container in the oven and roast until cloves are soft and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Check the garlic frequently (like, every two minutes) to prevent scorching.
While the garlic is roasting, toast the nuts. Feel free to throw them into the oven with the garlic, but again, keep a close eye to prevent burning. Our oven usually does the job in about 4-5 minutes.
Place the basil, roasted garlic cloves, toasted nuts, and lemon juice in a blender or food processor. In a slow stream, add plain olive oil and roasted garlic oil while blending (if possible- if using a tiny food processor without a window in the top, just add the oils and whizz everything together).