Basil Sauce: a delicious, healthy and versatile recipe

During a recent trip to the Farmer’s Market, I was immediately drawn to the bunches of fresh basil available. The lush green leaves and rich fragrance had me thinking of all the delicious ways I could prepare it—and the many health benefits.

Fresh basil bunches by Luciana FerrazThis time, I decided I would make a basil sauce that I could enjoy with vegetables, fish, gluten-free pasta and avocado. It was so tasty, I became obsessed.

Basil Sauce served with vegetables by Luciana Ferraz

If you’ve never made a basil sauce, it’s pretty simple and can add a burst of flavor to so many foods. If you can keep yourself from devouring the whole batch, you can even freeze it.

Besides being delicious, basil is a powerful herb with healing properties. It’s used in Ayurveda to promote the long-term health of the respiratory tract, boost the immune system, enhance digestion, stabilize blood sugar, reduce cholesterol, aid in weight loss, enhance mental clarity and reduce painful inflammation, among several other benefits.

In terms of eating for your specific body type, basil is balancing for vata and kapha, as well as for pitta if used in smaller quantities. Don’t know your dosha balance (or body type)? Ask me and I’ll send you an assessment to complete.

RECIPE

Basil Sauce

Basil Sauce Recipe by Luciana Ferraz

Ingredients

  • 3 Large bunches of fresh organic basil (or 6 packed cups)
  • 1 cup of raw walnuts
  • 1 ½ to 2 cups of extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 small slices of parmesan cheese or vegan cheese of preference (for creamier texture)
  • 1 clove of garlic, or more if you’re a garlic lover (optional)
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Lemon zest to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients in Basil Sauce by Luciana Ferraz

Preparation

  1. First, wash the basil carefully and add the leaves to a bowl with cold filtered water and ice. This will preserve the bright green color of your basil sauce. Gently dry the leaves.
  2. In a food processor, mix basil leaves (small bunches at the time) with the olive oil until you reach a smooth consistency. You can add small amounts of water if needed. Add the walnuts, cheese slices, lemon juice and garlic. Mix until it becomes a creamy paste. Add salt, pepper and lemon zest to complete the sauce.
  3. Enjoy immediately or divide into small glass containers for optimal perseveration. This sauce will last up to two days in the refrigerator and a few weeks in the freezer.

Until next time, here’s to a healthy, happy you!

Luciana

 

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