Lemon & Basil Pesto (Dairy Free)


My house is in chaos this weekend…I’m getting new flooring laid downstairs, there is clutter and dust everywhere!  This is proving a bit of a challenge for me as I’m a tad obsessive when it comes to cleaning but I keep telling myself that it’ll be worth it in the end.

Knowing that access to the kitchen would be somewhat limited I decided to whip up a quick batch of this pesto, so as soon as the workers left I could cook some gluten-free pasta and have a quick, simple but oh so yummy dinner.  This pesto works well not only with pasta but I’ve used it over chicken and veggies, in sandwiches or just drizzled over tomatoes and topped with some crumbled goats cheese.

When I first started making pesto I’d sometimes find it a bit garlicky (garlicky obviously isn’t a word judging by the big red line under it, but I’m ignoring it!).  I had read somewhere that if you chop up the clove of garlic and soak it in lemon juice for 10-15 minutes the garlic won’t be as pungent.  I tried this trick and it works!  I will be testing this trick in other recipes where I use raw garlic to make sure it wasn’t a one off…I’ll update you on my findings 🙂

You can make this pesto in a blender but I prefer a pestle and mortar.  It’s a bit of a stress relief bashing it all up plus it’s quite a good workout for the arms (just remember to alternate arms!).


-1 clove of garlic

-2 cups fresh basil, roughly torn

-1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Rapeseed Oil

-2 Tbsp. pine nuts

-juice and zest of 1 lemon

-salt and Pepper

How to Make

If soaking your garlic clove first; finely chop the garlic and cover with lemon juice for 10-15 minutes. Then drain.

To toast your pine nuts, heat a frying pan on a medium heat and toast the nuts until browned, keep an eye on them as they can go from brown to burnt quite quickly.

If making your pesto in a blender, place all ingredients in the blender and blend/pulse until the desired consistency, you may need to add more oil if you prefer a amore runny consistency.

If using a pestle and mortar, bash up the chopped garlic clove with a pinch of salt into a paste. Next add the basil and bash until the leaves break down. You may need to do the leaves in batches to make room in the mortar.

Add the oil and mix well then add the pine nuts.  I don’t crush all the pine nuts  as I like some crunch.

Add the lemon juice and zest, mix well and season with salt and pepper to taste.


Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Enjoy 🙂


5 thoughts on “Lemon & Basil Pesto (Dairy Free)

  1. Pingback: Carrot Noodles with Pesto | Four Candles Kitchen

  2. Pingback: Pesto Turkey Burgers | Four Candles Kitchen

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