Most of us know basil pesto prepared with raw garlic (apart form other ingredients); however, if you’ve never tried basil pesto with roasted garlic before, you’re missing out!
I don’t need to spend much time pointing out garlic benefits in regards to our health, internet is packed with such articles. Roasted garlic is, however, ideal for those who cannot consume it raw; whether it is because of its intense taste or its intensity during digestion. If you bake it and don’t resist eating it (like I did), try not to eat 12 cloves at once (like I did) because garlic lowers blood pressure and you may fall asleep in the middle of the day (like I did) and miss out on finishing your work (again, like I did). Three to four garlic cloves are perfectly enough, I am often unfortunately (sometimes it’s “oh thank god!”) incorrigible.
It doesn’t matter if you prepare it in on an open fire or in the oven, tons of recipes suggest you cut off the top part and wrap it up in a tin foil. Yeah, no.. I’m a barbarian when it comes to these things – less tin foil, lesser waste! I often add whole garlic to a plate with vegetables that I’m planning on roasting or I simply throw it among the hot coals. I just make sure it doesn’t burn, it’s fire we’re talking about… The reason I don’t cut off the top of garlic clove before roasting is simple – aroma, flavour and taste stays completely sealed in its “peel” and after I bake it I just gently push it out. Yummy. Now back to the masterpiece.
Roasted garlic has a mild, almost nutty creamy taste. You can mix it with potatoes, put on a bread or mix with your favourite spread. Here I’ll add it to my basil pesto.
This recipe can go both ways; vegan or vegetarian. If you don’t eat dairy produce, switch parmesan cheese for nutritional yeast and continue as usual.
Basil pesto with roasted garlic
- 50 gr fresh basil leaves
- 50 gr shaved parmesan cheese OR 2 tbsp nutritional yeast for a VEGAN option
- 100 ml olive oil
- 40 gr pine nuts
- 3-4 cloves roasted garlic
- salt & pepper to taste
- Roast the garlic in a preheated oven (200C) for 20-25 minutes or if roasting on fire, 15 minutes will be enough. Just make sure you don't completely burn it.
- In a meantime, wash, dry and chop basil leaves. Old-school mortar will do the "grinding" job perfectly.
- Grind basil, pine nuts, parmesan cheese/nutritional yeast and roasted garlic with a little bit of olive oil, keep adding oil slowly until reached a desired consistency.
- Season to taste and serve!
One last tip – if you don’t want to make pesto but you have some roasted garlic on the side, just add it along with fresh basil to a bottle with olive oil. You’ll get an AMAZINGLY flavoured olive oil that you can use as a salad dressing, an addition to your pasta dish or just with a bread!
So, will you try the recipe?? Have a great day and enjoy nature!