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Oil Free Thyme Pesto and Lemon Cumin Dressing

Time has been on my mind today. It is my father’s birthday. He would be 64. In a few weeks he will have been gone for a full year. In my dream last night I lay my head on his shoulder and sobbed, the reason for which was not apparent in the dream. When I woke up I realized I was sobbing because I would not see him when I opened my eyes. As the time since his death lengthens, he increasingly visits me in my dreams and we have vivid conversations. So although I miss him terribly in the land of the living, at least I get to spend time with him in my sleep.


With him in mind I wanted to post something special. Thyme has been speaking to me lately and a roughly chopped thyme pesto recipe has been conjuring for weeks. And just before I had the dream about dad this morning I dreamt of doing an oil free version of my favorite lemon-cumin dressing (I know, it’s weird, but I looked at a lot of oil free dressing recipes yesterday). So I decided to focus on these two small, but important details of a meal. Dad loved the details.

Although I did not intend for these details to collaborate they ended up graciously doing so on the salad I had for dinner.  I will post the salad recipe another time. Now I am off to see my Dad…

Thyme Pesto:
A handful of chopped thyme leaves
2 tablespoons raw pine nuts
2 tablespoons raw walnuts
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground flax or chia seed
1 tablespoon water, or more

Roughly chop the thyme, pine nuts and walntus together. Add the salt, lemon and flax. Add about 1 tablespoon of water. Adjust to desired consistency. This pesto is meant to have a bit of crunch and remain on the drier side. These differences in texture make it an interesting topping for salads and soups.

Oil-Free Lemon Cumin Dressing:
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon ground flax
2 tablespoons water, or more

Toast the cumin seeds over medium heat until slightly browned, about 2 minutes. Let cool and then grind with a mortar and pestle or in a coffee grinder. In a jar combine the cumin, lemon juice, honey, salt, cayenne and ground flax. Add one tablespoon of water. Shake well and let sit for a few minutes. Taste. If needed add the second tablespoon of water. The water and ground flax should work together to mimic the emulsion effect of the oil.

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