Pesto is a pantry staple. It adds a big flavor boost to all sorts of recipes and dishes. Toss it with pasta for dinner, throw it on top of veggie soup, spread it over bread for sandwiches, or add a spoonful to roasted vegetables. There just isn't a wrong way to enjoy pesto.
I didn't start making homemade pesto until recently. For some reason it was just never part of my food routine. Don't get me wrong...I have always LOVED pesto. It just always seemed like something that was a pain to make. Not to mention the fact that pine nuts are super expensive.
Well folks, I have some exciting news for you. Homemade pesto is the easiest thing you will ever make! Ever. And...you don't need pine nuts. Walnuts do the job very well! This pesto is not only a fabulous sauce for us plant-based foodies, but for everyone. I know some friends of who love a dollop of pesto on a fresh piece of salmon or on egg dishes.
If you have never tried making your own pesto, let this summer be your first. Head over to your local farmer's market and grab a big bag of fresh, local basil. Don't forget to stick your nose in it....heavenly! Traditional pesto is made with Parmesan cheese, but even if you eat cheese on the reg, give this dairy free pesto a try! Its packed with so much flavor that you won't even miss the parm. I promise! Pesto can be made from a variety of nuts such as pecans or hazelnuts - but I find that walnuts yield a flavor closest to traditional pesto made with pine nuts.
Whatever you choose to use this pesto with, you will be happy you did. We love enjoying it smothered on homemade veggie tortilla pizza. Check out my recipe for healthy veggie tortilla pizza on livecbus.com - where I contribute as a Health & Fitness writer!
Vegan Basil Walnut Pesto
This vegan pesto packs a huge flavor punch and is dairy free. Enjoy it on homemade pizza, pasta, slathered on bread, or as topping for roasted veggies.
|Makes roughly 3/4 cup|
- 1 1/2-2 cups loosely packed (washed) stemmed fresh basil
- 1/2 cup raw walnuts
- 1 or 2 medium cloves of garlic
- 1/4-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- a pinch of salt (to taste)
- Combine basil, walnuts, and garlic in a food processor and pulse until the mixture turns into a course meal.
- Slowly add olive oil in a steady drizzle as you continue to pulse the ingredients. Start with 1/4 cup olive oil and use more as needed. Process until it reaches your desired consistency. I like mine to have a bit of texture, but if you prefer it smoother, pulse a few more times.
- Season with salt (to taste).
- Use immediately or store in the refrigerator for later use.