Vegan Pesto


Pesto originated in Genoa. In the Genoese dialect (the language spoken in Genoa) the word pesto is the past participle of the verb pesta which means to crush or pound. Technically you are supposed to make pesto with a mortar and pestle. But this 2018 and who has time for that? So whip our your blender or food processor and let’s get cooking.


Before we get into the recipe I want to talk about a few things. Instead of using two cups of basil I like to do one cup of basil and one cup of spinach. You can of course use all basil if you like or even another vegetable like broccoli. It’s just a matter of personal preference. As for the nuts, traditionally pesto is made with pignoli (pine nuts). After years of having them forced upon me by my great grandma, I kind of hate them. But since they are traditional I wanted put a little bit in and then use walnuts instead. If pignoli are expensive where you live, just do the walnuts. Finally, the oil. I do not like my pesto over oily so I don’t use a lot if you want to use more be my guest! But it better be extra virgin olive oil.

1 cup of cashews [113g]
2 tbsp nutritional yeast [10g]
1/2 tsp salt [3g]
1 cup basil [16g]
1 cup spinach [46g]
1/4 walnuts [30g]
1 tbsp pignoli [9g]
1/4 cup cashew parmesan [45g]
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil [30g]
6 oz pasta if you want to eat it with pasta

First, you are going to make cashew parmesan. In a food processor add in cashews, nutritional yeast and salt. Pulse it until you have a fine, crumbly consistency. Do not over process or you will end up with cashew butter. Into a blender or food processor add the basil, spinach, walnuts, pignoli, cashew parmesan, garlic and olive oil. If you do not like a lot of garlic only do one clove. Begin to blend the mixture up until you have a fairly smooth and well ground up mix. You do not want to have any big chunks of nuts or garlic and whole leaves of spinach or basil. Taste your pesto and see if you would like to add any additional salt. I find it doesn’t need it but everyone has different taste buds. I served it with some pasta but you can use it as a dip or spread for so many things. I used 6 oz pasta and two spoonfuls of the pesto. You will still have leftover pesto and cashew parm from this recipe.

Will make about 8 oz of pesto.

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vegan pesto plantifully based.png

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