Monday, July 13, 2015
GARDEN GREENS; VEGAN PECAN PESTO FROM HOMEGROWN BASIL
|Freshly-picked chard and Kale from our garden|
|We are NOT great gardeners, by any stretch of the imagination. We live on an island of fabulous gardeners, so we don't even try to compete. But we manage to grow kale and chard, summer squash, herbs, lettuce and tomatoes. No tomatoes yet, of course, but it's so nice to be able to run out and pick enough veggies for a salad or a vegetable dish. |
Lettuce growing in a long planter on the deck (the lighting looks odd because I took the pics late in the evening)
Freshly-picked basil from potted plants on the deck, ready for pesto making
Today I made my second batch of vegan pesto this summer, but I changed my recipe a little. I decided to use pecans for the nuts because they have such rich flavor. I used a combination of miso and nutritional yeast instead of vegan Parmesan, and a bit of lemon juice to preserve the lovely color.
BRYANNA'S VEGAN PECAN PESTO
Makes 3 cups
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Oil Substitute for Salad Dressings
1 cup pecans
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
2 Tbs. light miso
8 large cloves garlic, peeled
1 Tbs. lemon juice (this helps keep the color green)
1 tsp. salt
8 oz. fresh basil leaves (about 8 cups, packed down)
Place the ingredients, except the basil, in a large food processor (or a VitaMix) in the order given. Add about 1/4 of the basil and pulse until it starts making a paste. Continue adding basil, 1/4 at a time, until it is all mixed in. Then turn the machine full on and let it run until the pesto is relatively smooth.
Pack the pesto into containers-- preferably several small ones. Place a piece of plastic wrap or parchment directly onto the pesto and fasten the lids over that. Refrigerate for a few days-- after that freeze them, but use it up within a month or so, or the pesto will lose flavor.
Pesto can be stirred into minestrone (soup), and used on pasta (wide flat pasta or gnocchi are preferred in the Italian province of Liguria, where pesto originated). I use it in summer vegetable salads and on grilled mushrooms, too.
To use it on pasta, be sure to save the pasta cooking water. Add a bit of this cooking water to a glob of pesto and stir it into the hot pasta (and cooked veggies, if you're adding them). Keep tasting and adding until it tastes right to you-- serve immediately
Dinner last night-- pasta and kale from the garden, with pesto
Other ideas for using pesto:
Here's a recipe for a hummus-based pesto sauce for pasta.
And try this recipe for a Vegan Creme of Artichoke and Mushroom Soup with Pesto
Pesto makes this lowfat vegan creamy Artichoke and Spinach Dish special.