Vegan pesto is all about the herbs and nuts. You won’t miss the cheese.
Making pesto is not an exact science. It’s intuitive. And lucky for us- easy as pie. You can whip up a vegan pesto from any combination of herbs, nuts and oil that your little heart desires. You can use cilantro or basil. Or both. Or try a light and fresh combo of mint , basil and parsley. Choose pecans or walnuts. Or traditional pine nuts. Even hazelnuts.Dairy-free sauce never packed so much flavor.
Pesto adds a big flavor boost to all kinds of recipes. Stir it into tomato sauce just before serving. Or plop a dollop into a bowl of Italian soup. Add a spoonful to stew. Schmear some on croutons, gluten-free toast and grilled cornbread. It’s a fabulous base for pizza toppings.You can also add pesto to roasted potato wedges and grilled vegetables. Stir it into polenta- or spread it on wedges of broiled polenta. It dresses up rice and risotto, pasta, noodles, and even grilled tortillas. It kicks up salad dressings and hummus.
For flexitarians, pesto is a bright, herby accent for grilled salmon, shrimp, and fish. Not to mention, egg dishes. Pesto and huevos is a match made in ovo-lacto vegetarian heaven.
So even if pesto is considered passé by some, an eighties foodie fad gone by…do we care?
How To Make A Vegan Pesto – A Recipe Template
This vegan pesto is big on taste, zero on dairy. You won’t miss the cheese, I promise. It never lasts long around here. The nuts you choose influence the taste.
2 cups, washed, loosely packed stemmed fresh herbs- basil, cilantro, parsley, mint
1/2 cup shelled pecans or walnuts
2 cloves fresh garlic
1/4 to 1/2 cup good tasting extra virgin olive oil, as needed
Sea salt, to taste
Combine the fresh herbs, nuts, and garlic in a food processor
and process the mixture until it turns into a coarse meal. Slowly add extra virgin olive oil in a steady drizzle as you pulse the processor on and off. Process until it becomes a smooth, light paste. Add enough olive oil to keep it moist and spreadable. Season with sea salt, to taste.
Cover and store chilled for at least an hour to saturate the flavors. I like to pour a thin layer of extra virgin olive oil over the top to help keep it bright green.
Makes roughly a rounded cup.
Pesto can darken if heated (basil turns black) so add it to hot dishes at the very last minute if the color is important to you.