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How To Make Vegan Pesto

How to make a tasty vegan pesto sauce without cheese.
Vegan pesto is all about the herbs and nuts. You won't miss the cheese.



The thing is, making pesto is not an exact science. It's intuitive. It's flexible. And lucky for us dairy-free folks- whipping up fresh pesto sauce is easy-as-pie (I should say, easier than pie, because gluten-free vegan pie is not all that easy).

You can whip up a vegan pesto from any combination of fresh herbs, nuts and good tasting olive 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- my favorite. Choose pecans or walnuts or traditional pine nuts. Even hazelnuts.


Dairy-free sauce never packed so much goodness.

More than just a pasta sauce- 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, herbalicious 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 Vegan Pesto - A Recipe Template

Recipe posted February 2008 by Karina Allrich.
 
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.

Ingredients:

2 cups, washed, loosely packed stemmed fresh herbs- basil, cilantro, parsley, mint
1/2 cup shelled pecans or walnuts or pine nuts
1-2 cloves fresh garlic
1/4 to 1/2 cup good tasting extra virgin olive oil, as needed
Sea salt, to taste

Instructions:

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.


Recipe Source: glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com

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Recipe note:

Pesto can darken if heated (basil turns black when hot) so add it to hot dishes (like cooked pasta) at the very last minute if the color is important to you.