There is an abundance of fresh basil around at this time of year. Pesto is traditionally made with Parmesan cheese. This version is incredibly flavorful and rich. The secret ingredient is nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast is one of my favorite ingredients. You can buy it in bulk at most health food stores as well as Wild Oats/harvest kind of places. Here are some links to further info:
I also make versions of this with arugula, parsley and spinach. Play! These ones often have lemon in them as well. Lastly, you can use different nuts, pine nuts are traditional.
- 4 cups fresh basil
- 2-4 cloves garlic
- 3/4 cups walnuts
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Ground pepper to taste
- Submerge and then dry basil leaves; they tend to be sandy so make sure you clean them well. Put the basil in a food processor
- Process basil with rest of ingredients until it all forms a chunky paste.
- Serve over your favorite pasta!
- Optional add-ins: 1 roasted red pepper (skin and insides removed); 2 or 3 soaked sun dried tomatoes; black or green olives
- I also will sometimes make a creamy pesto by adding unsweetened soy milk or creamer. Sounds weird but is really good!
As I have said before, I don’t measure anything so please adjust for texture and taste.