It’s basil-picking time, so let’s make an old favorite - pesto! I was lucky enough to harvest a ton of leaves from my mother’s plants recently, which I supplemented with what we have growing in our own gardens. Sharing is caring, especially when it’s (vegan) pesto.
For the “parmesan”
½ C. raw almonds
1 ½ T. nutritional yeast
¼ t. onion powder
¼ t. sea salt
2 C. packed fresh basil leaves
¼ C. pine nuts
2 T. olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon
1 garlic clove, peeled (optional)
Additional salt to taste
Prep time: 15-20 min
Yield: ~1 C. pesto
-Toast your pine nuts in an oven heated to 350 F. for ~10 min or until lightly golden.
-Remove from the oven, transfer to a bowl and put in the fridge to cool.
-For the “parmesan,” pulse the almonds in a food processor until you have a consistency similar to dry couscous.
-Add the nutritional yeast, onion powder and sea salt to the almonds and pulse 5-10 more times to combine.
-Pour into a clean bowl or storage container.
-Wash the basil leaves and pat dry gently with a kitchen towel; you can use a salad spinner if you have one, but it’s not necessary.
-Put the leaves into your food processor one cup at a time and pulse to a rough consistency.
-Add the oil and lemon juice, then parm (1-3 T. depending on taste), pine nuts and (optional) garlic, and pulse to the desired consistency.
It can be used immediately or frozen in an airtight container. You will have leftover parm also, which is especially good on top of oven-roasted veggies (or pasta, of course).