I’ve always loved pesto. Pesto on my pasta, pesto spread on toasty bread, pesto on a sandwich or wrap, etc. After going from vegetarian to vegan, I learned that a lot of pesto’s usually have parmesan cheese in them. I also learned that making vegan pesto is crazy easy and whatever that parmesan cheese added to the flavor, nuts could add an even cleaner taste to it-while maintaining the “cheezy” notes. For the last few years, however, I’ve not really fooled around with pesto. Then we started an herb garden and I found what I’d been missing out on-fresh basil. I’d searched the web, collected and saved recipes and when my basil was ready-I was more than ready. My mouth watered just looking at the basil leaves! So here’s what I did. I used NeverHomeMaker’s Pesto recipe as my base, slightly altered it, and added a little nutritional yeast. (Check out her blog if you have not already-I have a crush on her food pictures!)
Once we made this and served it over pasta, we literally looked at each other constantly saying “Oh my god, now this is delicious!”, “Oh my god, I can’t even believe how good this is!”, “Wow.” haha!
Walnut Basil Pesto
(slightly altered from NeverHomeMaker’s version)
Makes about 8-12 oz of sauce
- 3/4 cup walnuts (or pine nuts-but I used walnuts because they’re cheaper)
- 2.5 cups fresh basil leaves (loosely packed)
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped up a bit
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1-2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast flakes
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. In a rimmed baking sheet, spread your walnuts and then roast for 5 minutes. Stir. Roast another couple minutes, until you can smell them. Set aside to cool completely. I put mine in the freezer while I did the other steps to speed up the cooling process.
- Boil a cup and a half of water and then “shock” the basil (helps keep the green color longer) by placing it in water for 10 seconds. Then immediately pour into colander and rinse with cold water and pat dry with a tea towel. You’ll be shocked at how much the leaves shrivel down to nothing!
- In a food processor, combine all ingredients. Then pulse until well combined.
- Store in an air-tight container for 2-4 days in the refrigerator for use or freeze in ice cube tray for the future.
Thank you NeverHomeMaker!!
This made for such an incredible meal!
Do you have any pesto tips or recipes? I’d love to hear them!