Pesto is a firm favourite in our house, and over the years we’ve made many different versions. On current rotation is this delicious nut free recipe.

Most Australian schools are nut free zones to help safely manage nut allergies. This means traditional pestos are off the menu, as they usually include cashews, almonds or pine nuts. While not technically a nut, pine nuts are the kernels or seeds of the pine tree harvested from inside the cones, and are grouped in with the tree nut family. Sunflower seeds, however, are not grouped in the tree nut family and can be substituted easily into a home made pesto, making this a perfect lunchbox filler.


50g sunflower seeds
50ml extra virgin olive oil
50g parmesan cheese, finely grated
1/2 clove fresh garlic, finely grated
2 bunches or basil, leaves picked (equal to about 2 heaped cups of basil leaves)
a squeeze of fresh lemon juice & a pinch of salt

Method: Simply whizz ingredients together in a food processor. Transfer into a clean glass jar, and pour a little extra olive oil over the top to keep it fresh. Store in the fridge and use within a few days, or store in the freezer, in ice cube drays and defrost as needed.

Serve: We love this pesto spread on sourdough bread or wholemeal crackers, stirred through cooked green veggies, mixed through pasta or on top of a pizza base. YUM!

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