Lemon-Almond Pesto Spread

by Chrissy

You may remember back to when it was summertime and the days were long and the nights were warm. Well, in Southern California it still feels that way, especially this past weekend. So, in honor of the warm summery weather in the beginning of October, here is the delicious Lemon-Almond Pesto Spread that I had promised to share with you!

You may remember it’s debut on this: Perfect Pesto Picnic Panini

Truthfully, I tried to make pesto as I would any other regular basil pesto, but since I had so many almonds I thought I would use those instead. Well, I believe that I made too much almond meal, but instead of removing some, I went ahead with the rest of the ingredients and flavors that I wanted to use.

Since I am a stingy oil user, I tend to make a thicker pesto anyways. However, in this recipe, skimping on the oil only makes for a ball of basil-almond dough in the food processor.

Awkward.

My advice to you, is to use the full amount of oil (they are good oils for you!), and if its still too thick for your taste add extra lemon juice and/or water. The addition of cannellini beans also provides a creamy, yet firm texture for prime spread-ability. This recipe will stand up to slices of bread and will not be a contributor to sandwich sogginess.

 

Here is how to whip it up:

Wash and dry basil. A salad spinner works great!

Toast up the almonds.

Prepare the rest of the ingredients.

A little extra lemon juice and zest won’t hurt. Wink, Wink.

Grind almonds to make a semi-fine almond meal.

Add in the basil, lemon zest, juice, garlic, parmesan cheese.

Process until combined and it might be slightly dough-ball-like. Don’t fret!

Then add the cannellini beans, water, greek yogurt, salt and pepper… and voilà, here it is! 

This tasty spread goes great on a tasty flavor-packed panini, like this one:

*Little Yellow Note: this yields about 2 cups, so to store the extra, you can put it in the freezer and save for a rainy day, or keep it in the fridge for up to 2-3 weeks, just be sure to place in an air tight container and cover with a thin layer of olive oil.

From the Little Yellow Kitchen,

Chrissy

Lemon-Almond Pesto Spread
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer, Spread, Dip
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 cups
 
This hummus-like lemon & almond pesto is great for over pastas, on sandwiches, or as a dip for pita chips or veggie sticks!
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups whole almonds, peeled and lightly toasted
  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 4 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, more if needed
  • ⅓ grapeseed oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp nonfat greek yogurt
  • tsp pepper
  • 2-4 Tbsp water, depending on desired texture
  • cup cannellini beans, drained
Instructions
  1. Toast the almonds for about 1-2 minutes, shuffling them around often to be sure they don’t burn. Lay them on the cutting board to cool, then put them into the food processor and grind to a meal.
  2. Add the basil, garlic, lemon juice, and lemon zest, parmesan cheese, and pulse several times to combine. Then add in the yogurt, cannellini beans, water (use less, and add more if need) salt and pepper and blend while streaming in the olive oil and grapeseed oil. Keep blending until the texture is smooth.
  3. Spread on your favorite sandwich, add to pasta or eat as a dip.
Notes
This yields about 2 cups, so to store the extra, you can put it in the freezer and save for a rainy day, or keep it in the fridge for up to 2-3 weeks, just be sure to place in an air tight container and cover with a thin layer of olive oil.
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5 Responses to “Lemon-Almond Pesto Spread”

  1. This looks super tasty – I love the combination of flavours! It’s still really hot here so this would go down an absolute treat.

  2. It looks delicious! Sometimes you have to use oil, butter, or sugar in a recipe!

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