I don’t know many children who aren’t in love with Pesto pasta and my goodness, isn’t it easy to make and adapt to include a whole variety of vegetables and protein.
What I didn’t know until my fellow co-founder Kris told me, was that the most popular brand of pesto, which is the brand I used to buy, is neither vegan, dairy-free and most surprisingly for me who was a vegetarian for more than seven years, it isn’t vegetarian either?! It contains parmesan cheese in it, which often contains rennet (calves stomach) to aid coagulation.
So, I embarked on a little vegan pesto making exercise. It literally takes 10 minutes to prep and make and probably another 10 minutes to clean up.
- 40 grams fresh basil (large stems removed)*
- 35 grams pine nuts
- Two cloves garlic (peeled)
- 30 ml lemon juice
- 35 grams nutritional yeast (Nutritional yeast is often used a substitute for parmesan cheese)*
- 90ml extra virgin olive oil
- 90-120 ml of water
Get ingredients one to five from the above list (basil, pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice and nutritional yeast). Throw it in a food processor/blender and mix on high until it forms a loose paste.
Keep the machine on a low setting and slowly add in the olive oil. Do the same with the water, adding in 15 ml at a time until you are happy with the consistency.
Keeps well in the fridge for up to one week (and I’m certainly guilty of two pesto dishes a week) and can be frozen for future meals too!
I’ve not included any salt in the recipe as target to children so if you are making it for adult consumption, you may want to add a pinch of coarse sea salt to taste.
*You can substitute the basil for kale if you are looking for a different taste
*If possible I buy From the Fields Organic Nutritional Yeast Flakes or Bob’s Red Mill Nutritional Yeast Flakes
Serving suggestion: heap one tablespoon of pesto onto freshly cooked pasta and accompany it with a side of broccoli and carrot to brighten up the plate. Serve it up on one of our sustainable and organic bamboo plates with a silicone suction base.