Basil Sunflower Seed Pesto

Pesto has long been associated with basil even though it certainly can be made from other herbs, cilantro for example makes an interesting pesto that is great on crackers and cheese. The recipe below is doubly interesting because of the inclusion of shelled sunflower seeds, unblended. It gives the pesto a whole new flavor and texture.

4 cups fresh basil leaves chopped
3 cloves garlic (crushed)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shelled sunflower seeds

Pour all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until mixture becomes a paste. Put mixture in bowl and work in sunflower seeds. Cover tightly and refrigerate for future use. This can be spread on bruchetta, used on pasta (thoroughly mix it in with freshly cooked homemade noodles) or any number of other applications. Should stay good in the refrigerator for 1 - 2 weeks.

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Interesting Fact:

A tall tale from Alaska says that in the summer when the sun never sets in the northern reaches of the state sunflowers attempting to follow the sun around the horizon will actually twist their own heads off.

Interesting Pages

Garlic is found in many pesto recipes.