Are you 'cheap', Dearies?
Well, I have to admit that I have heard this adjective to describe all that is Stella Witch quite a few times in the last ten years, which is about as long as I've been an adult. This may have something to do with the fact that I've worked in restaurants since I was 14 years old, and pretty much paid my way through life from a very young age. It could also be due to my loathing of the concept of debt, as I don't want to have that weight over my head of owing someone or some company money. Though I do like to have a credit card on hold for emergencies and such, but that's another topic...
Being that I am 'cheap' and admittedly so, I must say that I still do want quality in the items I must purchase whether it be a new sofa or simply the fish I'm looking at through the glass of my local fishmonger. So when it comes to things I love like basil pesto, you all might have already guessed that pine nuts and walnuts are not a topic about which I'm too enthused, at least in reference to their price per pound. Even conventional pine nuts cost an arm and a leg, and I don't even want to think about the prices on organic pine and walnuts.
So my answer to this is sunflower seeds. Sunflower seeds have a similar nutty and delicious flavor when toasted much like pine nuts. And at least in my part of the world, cost about $2 pound. They are also super rich in linoleic acid (an essential fatty acid), vitamin E, B vitamins, minerals, and even cholesterol lowering phytosterols! Yes, they are healthful, delicious, and CHEAP. And guess what? They work great in pesto!
Ooh, and if you're really cheap like me, grow your own basil. It grows out of control in sunny regions!
Sunflower Basil Pesto
2 Cups Fresh Basil
2/3 Cups Toasted, Unsalted Sunflower Seeds
2-3 Cloves Garlic
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1/3 Cup Parmesan Cheese
Salt & Black Pepper to Taste
In a food processor, place the basil, sunflower seeds, garlic cloves, and cheese. Pulse a few times or till you get a very course meal. Then, slowly pour the olive oil in while pulsing till you get your desired texture. I leave mine a bit course, but feel free to break it down as you like.
Serve immediately over pasta, grilled meats, bread, etc. For pasta, this is enough pesto for 4 servings...
Enjoy, my Lovelies!