Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Vegan Pesto

Although this pesto was initially a mere ingredient in a amazing meal that is coming soon, it turned out so deliciously delicious that I had to give it its very own post. That and basil is growing rampant right now so I'm hoping it will be useful.

Thanks to our good old CSA not only do we have gads of weekly vegetables, I am also not breaking my already broken back in our garden. At first I was a little disappointed at not having my own garden this year. I even thought about planting one anyway.

I at least wanted to, for sure, take Neighbor Jim up on his gracious offer of some his extra tomato plants. And I would have had I been able to finish the garden upgrade to get the plants in. Oh, and also be able to bend over for more that one half second. That's always helpful when gardening.

It all works out though because this CSA is keeping me perfectly busy. Enter last week's basket. Probably my favorite basket thus far.

In it? ....
The ingredients for amazing basil... and the upcoming post

Basil, ah sweet basil. So much to do with you yet all I want to do with you is grind you up into pesto.

Freezable, rich, flavorful pesto. And always make enough to freeze so you can pull a cube or two out in the dead of winter and be reminded of the sweet basil of summer.

So essentially the pesto is ridiculously easy to make. Traditionally pesto has cheese. I suppose that's fine but I think the basil and garlic shine all by themselves. Especially when you use a really great extra virgin olive oil. Why funk it with cheese?

And now's the time people. The basil is a-ripe for the pickin' and that pesto isn't going to make itself. Off you go.

1/2 cup raw cashews
4-5 cloves garlic (5-6 cloves if you're using fresh garlic)
4 cups fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1/2 cup plus a bit more extra virgin olive oil

In a food processor, combine cashews and garlic. Pulse until ground into a fine meal.

Add basil, sea salt, fresh cracked pepper and about 1/4 cup olive oil. Turn on food processor and while it's going, stream in another 1/4 cup olive oil. If you feel it needs it, add up to 1/4 cup more, in small increments.

Process until smooth then taste. Add salt and pepper as needed.

There are so many things to do with pesto. So many. Pasta, sandwiches, side dishes, the list goes on.

As I mentioned, you can also freeze it. I use ice cube trays. Simply fill them up about 3/4 of the way full, cover with plastic wrap, or those neat little ice cube tray cover things. Once fully frozen, pop them out and store in a freezer bag. To use, take out as many as you need. It's as fantastical as that.



  1. I just made a double batch of this - it's really good but a titch salty because I forgot that I used "slightly" salted cashews instead of raw. I couldn't find raw cashews at Haggen darn it! :)

  2. Teri... oh, oops! You could do salted nuts but don't add any extra salt :) Also, try adding more basil, etc... to cut the salt :)



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