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This Low-FODMAP Pesto Uses A Clever Trick For Infusing Garlic Flavor

Eliza Sullivan
Food Writer
By Eliza Sullivan
Food Writer
Eliza Sullivan is a food writer and SEO editor at mindbodygreen. She writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She studied journalism at Boston University.
Image by Micky Wiswedel / Stocksy
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September 10, 2021

The low-FODMAP diet is one of the most popular options for managing IBS, and while many people use it to great success, that doesn't always mean it's an easy one to adopt. One ingredient that can be challenging to cut out is garlic—after all, there's garlic in a number of recipes, across many cultures.

One of those recipes that often features loads of garlic is pesto, and it's a dish that Zorah Booley found herself missing when she adopted this gut-health-supporting diet. And she came up with a clever way to get all that garlic flavor, without breaking the protocol: garlic oil.

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"Garlic in its whole form (cooked or uncooked) can trigger an IBS flare-up. But garlic oil provides the same flavor without any side effects; the more oil you add, the more intense the flavor," she writes in The Everyday Low-FODMAP Cookbook. "This recipe is a staple for me, and it's one I have relied on almost every day since adapting my lifestyle to account for IBS."

Since any pesto recipe is going to feature both olive oil and garlic, a basil pesto is the perfect place to use this low-FODMAP hack. Booley's recipe is pretty classic: Just make the homemade garlic oil first and get blending.

Basil Pesto

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup chopped chives
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • ½ cup Wholesome Homemade Garlic Oil (recipe below)
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. salt

Method

  • In a food processor with the blade attachment, combine the chives, basil, garlic oil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and salt and blitz for 3 to 5 minutes until smooth. There will be small bits of chopped leaves, and this is fine.

Wholesome Homemade Garlic Oil

Makes 1½ cups

Ingredients

  • 1 head garlic
  • 1½ cups extra-virgin olive oil

Method

  1. Peel the garlic cloves so all of the skins are removed: Using a wide knife, press down on each clove with some pressure until the garlic clove pops and spreads out, exposing the inside. Do this with all the cloves.
  2. In a small pot over medium heat, add the garlic and olive oil. When the garlic starts to fry, reduce the heat to low. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring every few minutes. When the garlic starts to turn medium to dark brown, remove the pot from the heat and leave the garlic to sit in the oil for 1 hour. Strain out all the solids and leave the oil to cool.
  3. When it is cool, store the oil in an airtight container in a dry place for up to 1 month.
Reprinted with permission from The Everyday Low-FODMAP Cookbook by Zorah Booley, Page Street Publishing Co. © 2021. Photo credit: Junaid Samaai.
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Eliza Sullivan
Eliza Sullivan
Food Writer

Eliza Sullivan is an SEO Editor at mindbodygreen, where she writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She received a B.S. in journalism and B.A. in english literature with honors from Boston University, and she has previously written for Boston Magazine, TheTaste.ie, and SUITCASE magazine.