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A Vegan Basil Mint Parsley "Pesto"

Vegan and gluten free raw pesto
Fresh, raw vegan pesto. Yep. You heard me.

We're getting so close to our departure now I can taste it. The house is swept and cleaned, boxes and bags are packed. Anticipation is hanging in the desert air. You can almost hold it in your cupped open hands. The hardest part will be trying to sleep Saturday night. I told Steve, If it's 3 AM and we're lying side by side in the dark listening to the whir of the ceiling fan, just waiting, can we get up and go? 

Why not? he responded.

This earned him some extra bonus points.

Not that he needs any. His bonus point status is pretty high to begin with these days. We've had an exciting week. I'm so proud of him. His first script sale, an independent movie titled The Canyon just released its first trailer. If you'd like to catch a sneak peek at the movie, see The Canyon trailer here. You'll see why I fell in love with Yvonne Strahovski and Will Patton when we visited the set.

So what does all this California dreamin' taste like? I decided it tastes like basil and mint with a bite of parsley. 

Green. Earthy. Alive.

Gluten free pasta tossed with vegan pesto sauce
Pesto drenched gluten-free spaghetti. Heaven.

Basil Mint Parsley Raw "Pesto" Sauce Recipe 

This garden fresh sauce is so light and delicate, unburdened by cheese or nuts. It tastes herbal and green. Like summer in Santa Monica.


1 cup washed, loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup fresh parsley
2 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
1/4 to 1/2 cup good tasting cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, as needed
Sea salt, to taste


Combine the basil, mint, parsley and garlic in a food processor bowl; pulse and process the mixture until it is chopped very fine.

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 tightly and store chilled for at least an hour to saturate the flavors. If storing overnight I pour a thin layer of extra virgin olive oil over the top of the pesto to help keep it bright green.

Makes roughly a rounded cup.

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Spread it around:

Serve on cooked brown rice or quinoa spaghetti- or other GF pasta shapes.
Toss it with raw zucchini "pasta".
Thin it with extra virgin olive oil and your favorite vinegar to create a pesto salad dressing.
Spread on crackers, warm g-free Herbed Flatbread, or a pizza crust.

Use in a summer vegetable gratin dish, such as my Pesto Zucchini Tomato Gratin.

Toss fresh grilled veggies in pesto and serve on toasted bread.

Use it instead of butter on fresh corn on the cob.

Spoon it on cooked wild salmon, chicken breasts or grilled veggie burgers.

Use it in quesadillas, burritos, and grilled sandwiches.



    1. Oh, this looks just wonderful! and I have all of these herbs ready to harvest in my containers. I'm so excited for you. Your "trying to sleep" comments reminded me of the Disney commercial the night before the family leaves for Disney. The kids are *supposed* to be sleeping and the parents come in to tell them to go to bed. The cute little boy looks up and says, "but I'm too excited to sleep". :) We repeat this line often. It was the first thing that came to mind when I read your post. Have safe travels and sending lots of love your way --- Tracy C

    2. Great recipe! I agree, if you're laying there awake, just get up and go! You'll be in California a few hours earlier that way!

      I just wish SLC was on the way so you could stop overnight!

    3. I'll pass on the pesto, but I did look up The Canyon after I watched the trailer and saw that Steve has an IMDB page, how cool!

    4. making pesto is so much fun because it is such a flexible recipe. your combo of herbs sounds yummy!

    5. Karina- I'm so excited for you. I have an unexplainable bond with CA. My heart and soul live there and I can't wait to move there with them. I hope you have a safe trip and an amazing time there. I'll wave when I come to CA this July. Hope you'll share some great GF places to eat. So I'm betting you'll be out of there at 4am. :-)

    6. Ohhh, yummy! I had all but given up on pesto for my family with all the dairy and treenut allergies, amongst others. Never thought of making it without them! You are brilliant! Can't wait to gather up all those yummy herbs and give it a try!

      Thanks :)

    7. Hi Karina,

      This simple pesto looks yummy. And if you DO get up in the early morning hours and go, you'll be rising with the very last phase of the waning moon, the balsamic, which will be at your back as you head west. The end of a lunar cycle that contains the seeds of new beginnings. Beautiful!

      happy trails,



      ps: BTW, Steve's film looks truly riveting. (However, from watching the trailer anyway, I fear it won't do much in the public's mind for the cause of protecting wolves in the wild, an issue rather close to my heart. Ah, well, it's a movie. . . :) )

    8. Karina, I wish you safe travels and all the best for a wonderful summer at the beach. Living away from So.Cal all these years...but I still feel the ocean pull esp. during the summer months. It's the best. Enjoy those sunsets!!

    9. that looks amazing. I usually put parsley and basil in pesto, but never thought to try mint!!

    10. Thanks for your lovely comments. Much appreciated.

      My insomnia has already begun. I didn't sleep last night.

      As for the movie- it's pro-wolf, pro-Nature, don't worry. There's a lot not revealed in the trailer.




    11. So excited for you both -- have a safe trip to CA, even if you do leave at 4 in the morning!

    12. Yesterday I bough a bottle of extra virgin olive oil that would work perfectly with that pesto =)

      I suppose that you already have left to California. Good luck! ^^

    13. What a nice twist on pesto, adding mint! I will have to give this a go.