When basil is growing like weeds in your garden or its intoxicating smell overwhelms you at the farmer’s market, what do you do with it? I make pesto…and lots of it. Here’s my dairy-free version.
Pesto is a great way to capture the essence of fresh basil for using in recipes all year long. What I love about this dairy-free version is that it utilizes Rawmesan, a vegan, gluten-free parmesan substitute made from cashews, nutritional yeast, herbs, spices and Celtic sea salt. Rawmesan’s consistency is the same as regular parmesan, so you will get that chunky texture that is pesto’s signature. In addition, this recipes calls for both walnuts and pignolis. The walnuts provide a depth of flavor that I really enjoy, as well as some omega-3 fatty acids, which are always a welcome addition. The recipe calls for a 1:1 ratio between the two nuts, but I suggest doing a little trial and error to find the ratio that works best for you.
1/8 cup walnuts
1/8 cup pignoli nuts
4 – 5 garlic cloves, chopped
2 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves, de-stemmed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
2/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup Rawmesan
Place the walnuts, pignolis, garlic, basil leaves, salt and pepper into a food processor and process for 30-40 seconds. Then, while the processor is running, slowly pour in the olive oil (through the feed tube) until the pesto is completely blended . Add the Rawmesan and blend until smooth.
Tip for making bigger batches: Use less salt and olive oil than what the doubled/tripled recipe calls for.
Storage tip: For long-term storage, pour the pesto into ice cube tray wells and freeze. Remove as needed and thaw. The wells act as good portion sizes so you can take out only what is needed.
- drizzled over fresh summer tomatoes
- drizzled over an omelette
- as the sauce for bruschetta
- as a dipping sauce for grilled shrimp
- as a pizza sauce (in lieu of red tomato sauce)