Firstly, allow me to apologise for my brief hiatus. If you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat you’ll know that I was busy eating my way through Istanbul, Berlin and Prague, but alas I have returned. A full vegan travel recap is of course forthcoming, so stay tuned!
In any case, on to the recipe du jour.
Even though it takes me about forever and a day, I do in fact respond to reader requests for recipes. Case in point, the vegan macaroni bechamel was one such recipe – and so is today’s.
As a seasoned vegan (forgive the pun) pesto is one of those things I have learned not to even bother picking up at the supermarket. While I adore it (basil, garlic, nuts and olive oil – what’s not to love?), the store bought kind is almost never vegan-friendly, given that it usually contains some sort of cheese. That said, I have on occasion come across some vegan pesto, but the truth is more often than not it’s expensive, and sub-par.
So a couple of weeks ago, when a craving for my signature chickpea and pesto pasta hit, I rolled up my sleeves, tapped into the motherlode of walnuts I discovered hiding out in my freezer, and got to work.
- 2 cups fresh basil, washed and de-stemmed
- ½ cup raw walnuts
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- Sea salt to taste
- A splash of water
- Combine all ingredients in a small food processor or a high-speed blender and pulse until combined, stopping to scrape down edges as needed. Depending on your device you may need to add a splash of water to help blend.
And the recipe notes, as per usual:
- I used the small cup of my nutribullet to make this, and it works fantastically well. A smaller food processor would also work great, and probably result in a more textured pesto which some people prefer
- Don’t skimp out on the olive oil for this one, I mean it. A high quality, organic extra virgin olive oil will make all the difference in terms of flavour
- Feel free to reduce the amount of garlic as needed, I just like an extremely garlicky pesto
- If you’re feeling ambitious, you could try toasting the walnuts beforehand for a deeper flavour, but I personally prefer it raw
If you’re not much of a pasta lover – fret not. There are tons of ways you could use this pesto. Dilute it with some water and lemon juice to make salad dressing, spread it on toast or as a base for sandwiches, or even use it as a coating for your favourite roasted vegetables.
Whatever you do, do not leave it out if your cat is on the prowl.
If they’re anything like mine, they’ll head straight for it. That’s Cinnamon snarling at the camera after I shoo’d her away from the pesto.
Until next time, dear readers!