Traditionally pesto is served with pasta or bread. If you are avoiding wheat or flour products, pesto can still be very much enjoyed. Pesto is a condiment of sorts made with fresh leaves of the kitchen herb, sweet basil. There are various recipes out there–this one is simple and uses sunflower seeds instead of pine nuts but you could use pine nuts or almonds or walnuts if you prefer. Also, no olive oil or butter are used in the pesto so that the mixture remains somewhat crumbly and mixes easily with vegetables or sprinkles readily on top of vegetables or fish or eggs or millet grits. The butter or olive oil–you can also use ghee– can be added separately as you will see in this recipe. You will need a food processor for this recipe.
If you want to add some other vegetables to the green beans, 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion and a small zucchini cut in cubes work great. I’ve also added any or all of the following: a chopped tomato, 1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper, 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese.. Don’t cook any of these though. Add them to the beans after the butter or ghee has been added to the beans and is melted..
1/2 cup raw, unsalted sunflower seeds, pine nuts, or other nuts
1 and 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 large clove garlic, crushed or chopped coarsely
optional: 1/3 cup grated pecorino romano cheese (parmesan is ok too). 1 Tsp. nutritional yeast flakes can be substituted for cheese.
Process the sunflower seeds or nuts until ground fine. Add the basil leaves and process until the leaves are ground in with the seeds. Add garlic and process again. Add grated cheese or yeast and process until all is thoroughly blended.
3 cups cut green beans
1 or 2 Tbsp. butter, or ghee, or olive oil
Steam 3 cups of cut green beans (fresh or frozen) until just tender and still bright green. Place in a serving bowl and immediately add butter, ghee, or olive oil and stir until mixed well. If you are adding any other vegetables as mentioned above, add them now. Add pesto mixture and stir well. Serve warm or cold.