There are a lot of ways to make pesto, and if you're vegan or even (like me) avoiding tomato sauce, you should make it. It will be your (and your once-lonely pasta's) best friend.
The great thing about pesto if you're vegan is that you still get to have the best things about it. Missing cheese? Puhlease. Now that I've had pesto without parmesan, I can taste how cheese dulls the bright flavor of the lemon and how the lemon-oil-salt combination alone can move tastebuds to tears. (If you let it.)
Fresh basil is so pretty! And a necessity for pesto (vs. dried, of course). My Trader Joe's nearly always has fairly large basil plants growing in at least a 4 inch pot. For this recipe, all I had to do was pull all the big leaves off, and I had two cups easy of fresh, fragrant leaves. This makes room for more leaves that will undoubtedly be part of my next batch.
Did I mention this recipe is forgiving and easy? For one, you can vary the ingredients and amounts and still come out a winner. And two, I have the tiniest food processor but I could put everything in it at once. Well, everything I needed to start with, anyway. I used walnuts but you're always welcome to use the classic pinenut as your nut of choice. I've heard avocado works well, too - I just didn't try it. (Yet.) To be fair, I did have to use a bit more walnuts than this, when it all came right down to it.
Don't forget the olive oil! I bet a mix of avocado oil and olive oil could be interesting...
And here it is! Mine came out with a nutty texture a la walnut. I might try a little avocado next time to jazz it up and smooth it out, just for a change. Don't get me wrong, this as-is was deelightful!
BASIL WALNUT PESTO - VEGANized
2 cups (fairly scrunched/packed) fresh basil leaves
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2-ish c walnuts - (use pinenuts if you're a classic kinda gal/guy)
Olive oil and salt, to taste (yes, you're gonna need to taste and see for yourself)
1) Put basil leaves in food processor or blender with the garlic, lemon, and a handful of nuts. Pulse.
2) Add olive oil. Be a little sparing at first, as you can save some for later to drizzle on top. Pulse/blend again until you achieve the desired smoothness.
3) Add salt and more olive oil to taste.
That's it! Garnish with more basil leaves, avocado slice and salt/spritz of lemon. Try with pasta, spread on sandwiches, pita, or crackers (using their gluten-free versions, if needed, of course).
I like mine with quinoa pasta and broccoli for a green-goddess dinner that would make mom proud.
This page is for some of my original or favorite recipes that I have used to promote health and healing. I assume that most people know that eating vegetables is healthy, so I focus on healthy treats and alternatives to grain, gluten, sugar, and dairy.
Brownie Batter for Moi
2-Ingredient Buckwheat Bread
Gluten-free Pumpkin Bundt, Hempseed Brownies, and Orange-scented Date Bars
Cherry Nut Granola
Blueberry Coffee Cake
Fluffy Pancakes (GF & DF)