Vegan Basil and Almond Pesto Recipe

posted in: Condiments, Nuts and Seeds, Recipes | 0

This time of year, I love to buy a big bag of basil from a local farm and find ways to use it up quickly while it’s still good. Pesto is a standard for me. I use a variety of nuts or seeds, sometimes adding other herbs or even greens like small tender kale.

Make a batch and use it for everything. Spread it on sandwiches or nori rolls, garnish a soup or top a cooked grain or bean dish. It’s even delicious as a topping for blanched vegetables. Have fun with it! You can even freeze a bunch in small portions to add variety to meals during the cooler months.

Basil and Almond Pesto

1/2 cup lightly toasted almonds
1/8 tsp sea salt
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
2 packed cups fresh basil leaves
1 Tbsp unrefined olive oil

1. In a food processor, process the almonds until coarsely ground.
2. Add the sea salt and garlic and process a bit more.
3. Add the basil and process until just incorporated.
4. Add the olive oil and process until all ingredients are combined well.

Notes:

  • I like my pesto to be a bit rustic in texture, so I don’t process until smooth at each stage. I try to do only enough processing to blend and create a cohesive pesto.
  • You can add a bit of lemon juice and zest if you like.
  • I sometimes add a bit of nutritional yeast to give some umami flavor.
  • Try making pesto with a blend of other herbs like parsley and cilantro.
  • Experiment with other nuts and seeds as well. Lightly toasted hazelnuts add a nice flavor. Walnuts work as well.
  • When adding this pesto to pasta, I often stir a little red wine vinegar in first to make the pesto a little less thick. It’s easier to stir it into pasta that way, without adding more oil. You could also use a little of the pasta cooking liquid. Feel free to experiment.

    Basil and Almond Pesto

    Total Time 10 mins
    Cuisine macrobiotic, vegan

    Equipment

    • food processor a suribachi or mortar and pestle might work if you chop the almonds beforehand

    Ingredients
      

    • 1/2 cup lightly toasted almonds
    • 1/8 tsp sea salt
    • 1-2 cloves garlic minced
    • 2 packed cups fresh basil leaves
    • 1 Tbsp unrefined olive oil

    Instructions
     

    • In a food processor, process the almonds until coarsely ground.
    • Add the sea salt and garlic and process a bit more.
    • Add the basil and process until just incorporated.
    • Add the olive oil and process until all ingredients are combined well.

    Notes

    Notes:
    I like my pesto to be a bit rustic in texture, so I don't process until smooth at each stage. I try to do only enough processing to blend and create a cohesive pesto.
    You can add a bit of lemon juice and zest if you like.
    I sometimes add a bit of nutritional yeast to give some umami flavor.
    Try making pesto with a blend of other herbs like parsley and cilantro.
    Experiment with other nuts and seeds as well. Lightly toasted hazelnuts add a nice flavor. Walnuts work as well.
    When adding this pesto to pasta, I often stir a little red wine vinegar in first to make the pesto a little less thick. It's easier to stir it into pasta that way, without adding more oil. You could also use a little of the pasta cooking liquid. Feel free to experiment.
    Keyword garnish, macrobiotic condiment, plant-based, topping