Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Basic Vegan Pesto

Basic Vegan Pesto
Makes about a ¾ cup of pesto.

1 cup basil leaves (or other aromatic herb)
¼ cup nuts (walnuts, pine nuts, almonds...)
1 medium mild garlic clove
½ to ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
A large pinch of salt, or 1 scant tbsp Gomasio

EXTRA: 1 tbsp add-ins like hemp, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, or nutritional yeast
EXTRA: ½ cup umami-rich ingredients to customize your pesto: chopped olives, chopped dried tomatoes, chopped dried and rehydrated mushrooms.
  1. Add the salt and garlic first, and mash them together. Add the herbs and gently tear the leaves, slowly at first, then more vigorously until a cream forms with the garlic.
  2. Add the nuts and pound them well, then add any add-ins you might be using. Mash well.
  3. Start adding your olive oil as you keep pounding. Grind all the ingredients with a circular motion as you add the olive oil. Adjust salt and oil as preferred.
  4. The mortar and pestle method works best for traditional herb pestos, with no umami ingredients added.
  1. If making tomato, olive or other pestos with bulky ingredients, you might be better off using a food processor in any case. Just add all the ingredients but only half of the oil to the food processor and blend well, then slowly add the rest of the olive oil to achieve the desired thickness.
  2. Pesto will last a few days in the fridge, stored it in an airtight container. It is best used within 3 days for maximum flavor.

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