You’d think that the main barrier to a good vegan pesto would be cheese, given that pesto is basically a cheese, herb and nut sauce/spread (originating from Genoa in Northern Italy, don’t you know). In fact, it’s not; vegan cheese is very easy to make these days, and as I showed with my Easy Vegan Parmesan recipe last week, vegan parmesan is a walk in the park.
No, the main hurdle for a good vegan pesto these days, and especially if you live in Latin America as I do, is pine nuts–or the skyrocketing cost thereof.
Here in Panama City, a small package of pine nuts costs $10. TEN DOLLARS. That’s about 50 cents for every pine nut! If I went around making pine nut pesto, it would end up costing me more per month than my cat costs me, and I like my cat a lot more than I like pesto.
No, it just won’t do; a cheaper, more accessible vegan pesto recipe is necessary – so here it is! This recipe utilizes the 5-minute Vegan Parmesan recipe from last week, but if you don’t have nooch, you can just use walnuts in place of the parmesan. It will be less cheesy, but still utterly delicious.
(Makes 1 medium batch)
1 VERY packed cup of fresh basil leaves, or 2 handfuls
3 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons Easy Vegan Parmesan, or 1/4 cup walnuts
3 tablespoons of olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt (to taste)
black pepper (to taste)
splash of water (if necessary)
Blend until combined!
This pesto will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for at least a week, and can be used in any number of ways, not just with pasta! Later this week I’ll be posting up one of my favourite lunch bowls that combined this pesto with hummus, oregano-roasted sweet potato, quinoa and steamed veggies. Stay tuned!