Parsley, Pumpkin Seeds and Garlic Pesto
Why I Love This Recipe
This is a tasty yet very healthy parsley pesto recipe with garlic and pumpkin seeds. You can use it to add a rich flavor to rice and pasta dishes, on chicken or fish, or even on its own spread over pita or flatbread.
Personally, I like the contrast of the stronger flavor of the pumpkin seeds to go with the distinctive parsley taste and powerful garlic. Other nuts like pinenuts or walnuts could easily replace the pumpkin seeds though.
To make the pesto even more intense, I use pumpkin seed oil instead of the usual virgin olive oil. Once again, feel free to replace this with olive oil or the even healthier avocado oil if you don’t have pumpkin seed oil.
Flat leaf parsley seems to work and look better in this pesto and the nutritional content is said to be similar, but I use whichever looks freshest when I get it.
Parsley Pesto Recipe
This recipe will make a good amount of parsley pesto and you don’t need that much to flavor a dish. You could reduce the amounts, but I’d rather make a large batch and freeze any left over for future use.
Ingredients You'll Need
2 cups of organic parsley leaves, washed, press dried and packed.
Half a cup of raw pumpkin seeds, soaked for half an hour in water.
2 to 3 cloves of crushed garlic.
2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice.
Pumpkin seed oil (or virgin olive oil/organic avocado oil).
Himalayan crystal salt and cracked black pepper to taste.
Wash the parsley and press dry it in paper towels or a fresh tea towel. Pick just the parsley leaves off for this recipe and keep the stalks in a container in the fridge if you’d like to make parsley juice later. The leaves alone are much better in this pesto from a flavor and texture perspective. Parsley stalks can also have a tendancy to get caught under the blades of some food processors.
Start the pesto off by crushing the garlic in a mortar and pestal or garlic press. You can then either make this recipe in a good food processor that can really chop up the ingredients, use a powerful hand-held food blender in a large bowl, or, if you have a large enough mortar and enough patience, make the whole thing in that.
Assuming you’re using a food processor, add the parsley first, then pumpkin seeds, garlic and lemon juice and pulse until well combined. A rubber spatula can help get off any mixture that sticking to the sides. It’s also great for getting the blended pesto out of the food processor and into a bowl.
Once the parsley pesto is in the bowl, add a thin stream of pumpkin seed oil and mix it in well with a fork. Blend the oil in small amounts until the consistency is moist and shiny without being too oily. You could add the pumpkin seed oil in the blender but it tends to leave a lot on the sides. I think this way gives you more control and a better, less pureed consistency.
Finish with crystal salt and black pepper seasoning if you use them. You may also want to add a little extra lemon juice until the flavor is just right for you.
It’s best to freeze any parsley pesto that you don’t think you’ll use in three days. Another healthy way to eat this is on carrot sticks as a snack or stirred into a salad with some extra tang and crunch. Hope you enjoy it.