If you’re lucky enough to have bountiful bushels of basil growing in your garden this Vegan Pesto recipe is for you. It takes about 5 minutes to make (at the outside) then you have it ready for pasta, soups, pizza, a dip or for sandwiches and wraps. Fresh lemon zest and juice is so important here, another wonderful summer ingredient which just lifts the whole taste.
Nutritional yeast is used instead of Parmesan to achieve the cheesy taste, it’s a fabulous ingredient for vegans as it’s full of vitamin B12 which can be lacking in a vegan diet.
If you’re after a fat free version use water and leave out the oil, I like to add just a couple of tablespoons of oil to give it a little richer taste. Your choice.
My family has been loving pesto pasta with toasted pine nuts and peas. I added a little more salt, pepper, lemon zest and juice just before serving. If you like a little heat add a pinch of red pepper flakes – yum.
A food processor makes very short work of blitzing the ingredients into a coarse paste.Print
3 cups of fresh basil (densely packed) stems removed
2 large or 3 medium garlic cloves, peeled
Zest of a lemon
4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons pine nuts
3 tablespoons walnuts
Juice of a lemon
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil
Place the basil, garlic, lemon zest, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, walnuts and pine nuts in the bowl of a food processor.
Pulse until you have a coarse paste.
With the motor running add the lemon juice, water and olive oil through the feed tube. Process until the pesto is thoroughly pureed. If the mixture is too thick add a little more water.
Use at once or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.