Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Calzones with sunflower seed pesto

We were away for a while and we've been neglecting this blog but to get something up, here's basically a copy of something I posted recently over on my mama blog.

Here is my version of a toddler friendly pesto that is made with sunflower seeds instead of pine nuts. I am waiting until Jonas is around 18 months to introduce tree nuts so decided to try a variation that he can also enjoy on his pasta. He seems to really like basil. I made a summer tomato salad with a thai basil dressing and he ate it very quickly. I was surprised since the thai basil has a strong flavor. Maybe he will take after his mama and love basil. I am a big basil fan and cannot get enough of it in the summer time. Here is the recipe.

Sunflower seed pesto

3 cups of basil leaves (I used a mix of thai, globe and purple)
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 cup of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Add all of the ingredients except the olive olive oil to a food processor and chop well. Add enough olive oil to form a paste. Add salt and pepper to taste.

I used the pesto to make calzones. Jonas also really liked them a lot. I used a basic pizza dough recipe and also marinara that I made a while back and froze. Here is the recipe.

Sunflower seed pesto calzones

1 cup pesto
1 cup marinara
1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives
2 tablespoons capers
pizza dough

Mix together the pesto, marinara, olives and capers. Divide the dough into several pieces. Roll out each piece, fill and bake them all for 25 minutes at 375 F. Brush the tops with olive oil after they come out of the oven. We also enjoyed them for dinner one night with a nice heirloom tomato salad.


The Voracious Vegan said...

This is fabulous! I'm not too fond of pine nuts, they taste a little metallic to me, so I think sunflower seeds would be the perfect substitute.

Bianca said...

Yum, yum! I love pesto. I made a bunch and froze it in ice cube trays over the summer. Though I love sweet basil, I'm not a fan of Thai basil...but I got some in a CSA and used it combined with sweet basil for the pesto. The other flavors in the pesto worked well to mellow out the strong Thai basil flavor.

James Reno said...

That sounds really good. Does it take long to make? I tend to be biased towards simple dishes, but will give yours a try.

To Your Health!
James Reno (editor)

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Chris and his Sweet Basil said...

Hello there from one basil lover to another. Mine's still a baby though, so I won't be making pesto just yet. Hey, what else can we substitute for pine nuts?