I LOVE PESTO. Like I really, really, really adore pesto with a passion, and often find myself fantasizing about fresh pasta tossed with homemade pesto with lashings of parmesan cheese on top. But alas, I am staying away from the pasta, but that doesn’t mean I have to say no to pesto!
I recently made Paleo Crisp Bread, and decided to make a homemade hazelnut pesto to compliment some smoked ham I had bought as a topping for the bread. This recipe is inspired by traditional Danish Smørrebrød.
- 2 slices of Paleo Crisp Bread
- 2 slices smoked ham (or whichever cold-cuts you prefer)
- 1/2 hazelnuts
- 1 cup fresh basil
- 1/4 cup low-fat cheddar or parmesan cheese
- 1 clove of garlic
- Olive oil
- Black pepper
- 1 spring onion
Blend the hazelnuts until finely ground. Add basil, cheese, garlic, salt and pepper, and a dash of olive oil. Blend again, adding olive oil until desired consistency. I usually add a little water to thin-out the pesto a little bit, to save on the oil.
Slice the spring onion and set aside. Place two slices of Paleo Crisp Bread on a plate and put a piece of ham on each slice. Add desired amount of pesto and garnish with spring onion.
And voila! There you have Paleo Crisp Bread with Smoked Ham and Homemade Hazelnut Pesto!
FOOD FACT: BASIL
Basil not only tastes great as a main ingredient in pesto, but it also has many surprising health benefits! Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, basil also has antioxidants that can protect the body from premature aging, skin complications and even some forms of cancer. Basil oil can be used to treat stomach complications such as constipation, cramps and indigestion as well as the common cold. (via. Motherearthliving.com).
Here’s a fun fact about basil: In Hindu cultures basil is considered a sacred plant. In some cultures basil is a sign of love and devotion between young couples (it’s probably easier to find than mistletoe too).