Sunday, June 26, 2011

Vegan Pesto

If you're anything like me, you can't get enough Italian food. So when I harvested basil from my garden yesterday, the first thought to pop in my head was "Pesto!" With a strainer full of fresh basil, I headed into the house to wash off my booty of greens and get to cookin'.

Now, since I love making bread so much I decided that this occasion - my first attempt at pesto - needed it's own bread to go with it. So I made a small twist on the basil bread recipe below; I used fresh chives from my garden, then added dried rosemary and thyme. No basil this time around, since I needed the bulk of it for pesto. When prepping the dough for baking, I spread it out in a slab along a slightly oiled baking sheet; roughly 1" tall, 3" wide, and the length of the sheet. This made for a long, easily sliceable loaf, perfect for dabbing pesto and topping with small slices of tomato.

While the dough was rising, I headed to Whole Foods to grab pine nuts and the all-important nutritional yeast. This stuff is magic for replacing cheese, so it's a must have for this pesto recipe. Here's what you'll need:

1 cup pine nuts
1 1/2 cups fresh basil
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
6 cloves garlic
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt

Not too many ingredients, most of which you probably have on hand already. My one recommendation: use a food processor. I do not have one, and using a blender to make this took quite some effort and patience.

1) Combine all ingredients in food processor.
2) Blend
3) If you're serving guests, perhaps save a few pine nutes to crumble on top as a garnish

Put this delicious stuff on bread, sandwiches, crackers, or anything you want to be instantly delectable.

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