Pesto has become one of those things that I just can’t bring myself to buy in a jar. The fresh version is pretty easy to prepare, with just a few ingredients. To maximize my efforts I usually make a huge recipe, at least enough for two full meals with leftovers. It freezes well and will keep in a regular freezer up to 3 months without affecting quality. It can easily be converted to a low FODMAP version as well, see below the original recipe for the super easy modification. Here it is, trust me it’s delicious!
4 cups basil, rinsed and squeezed dry, then packed
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
3 large cloves of garlic
1 cup toasted pine nuts
1 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend well. I usually blend it for about a minute and a half to make sure the pesto has a consistent pureed texture.
To prepare a low FODMAP version of this pesto sauce, simply omit the garlic, or infuse olive oil with garlic then strain solids using this method:
Simmer 6 finely sliced garlic cloves in 1 cup olive oil for 5 minutes on low heat, then strain solids from the oil using a fine sieve or strainer. This adds flavor to your oil/pesto without increasing the FODMAP content!
Typically hard cheeses like parmesan are well tolerated by IBS sufferers and those with lactose intolerance because the lactose level is quite low. However, diet and digestion is highly individual and there are some folks who can’t tolerate dairy at all. If dairy intolerance or allergy is an issue, nutritional yeast (available here or in most grocery stores for a bit cheaper) can be used as a substitute for parmesan cheese without affecting the flavor! If you’re unfamiliar with nutritional yeast, it definitely has a unique appearance which throws some people but I promise it’s delicious!