Roasted Red Pepper, Tomato, Basil and Cashew Nut Pesto!

 

Red Pesto 3Roasted Red Pepper, Tomato, Basil and Cashew Nut Pesto is one of the easiest recipes I have made to date. It’s so quick and simple and really takes no time at all. As well as it being a fast recipe it’s also packed with nourishing foods that will help the body. All of the foods in this dish are important and all help the body in so many ways but the most important to me is the basil.
Basil is a plant normally grown in a hot climate like India or Iran. You can grow it in this country in the summer but it’s better grown indoors or in a greenhouse. We are trying to grow our own and it’s going well. For this recipe I had to buy shop-bought basil as we do not have enough for a meal yet. However, we are looking forward to trying it when it does grow.

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Our home grown basil plant!

The chemical compounds found in the leaves of the basil plant are known to have disease-preventing and health-promoting properties. Basil leaves comprise of several health-benefiting essential oils such as eugenol, citronellol, crital and limonene. These compounds are known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Basil also has plenty of vitamins and minerals required for optimal health.

Eating basil during a period can help to replenish the iron lost during this time. It can also help to detoxify the liver, so a great herb to eat if your liver needs detoxifying. Basil has been known to help with the effects of anxiety as well. It contains phytochemicals that studies suggest may lower the cortisol in the body, a hormone that can become secreted when you’re tense.

Basil is so much more than a herb to me, it’s a medicine as well and will make you feel good. To me, making this meal didn’t feel like I had spent hours in the kitchen and I even had a long time to play with my son. The first part of this meal can be made the day before and stored in the fridge until ready to use. It’s such a quick, simple meal that anyone could have a go.

Serves 4

  • Equipment needed
  • Chopping board
  • Sharp knife
  • Baking tray
  • Measuring Jug
  • Food processor

Ingredients

  • Red pepper x 2 large 
  • Tomatoes x 200g

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    Roasted red pepper, tomatoes and garlic.

  • Basil x 1 large handful
  • Olive oil x 80mls plus extra for drizzling later
  • Cashew nuts
  • Garlic x 4 cloves
  • Salt and pepper
  • Parmesan cheese x 60g (optional)

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200º and put the baking tray in at the same time. 
  • Next chop the pepper into quarters and remove the seeds and stalk.
  • Once the oven is preheated take the baking tray out and add the tomatoes, pepper and garlic.
  • Then drizzle over with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Place in the oven for 30 – 40 minutes or until the tomatoes start to burst with juice.
  • Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
  • When the pepper and tomatoes have cooled, add them to the food processor along with the basil, olive oil, cashew nuts, garlic and a little more salt and pepper.
  • Blend for a good five minutes and serve with a cooked pasta of your choice!
  • It’s also delicious with a side salad.

Red Pesto 4We normally serve this with brown rice pasta and a salad. It’s a great meal to eat hot or cold so makes a good packed lunch the next day. This is a good vegan meal that could be turned into a vegetarian meal with a bit of parmesan or you could add a bit of chicken, bacon or salmon for those meat lovers. In this house, we use any leftover pesto on pizza too. It will keep in the fridge for about two to three days so if you make too much it can always be eaten up. As always, if you’re giving this a go, please enjoy!