The first basil of the season is here! Tender, green, fragrant, and from our own garden–what more inspiration do I need to make pesto from scratch?
This recipe doesn’t use any cheese like many others, so it’s vegan-friendly and just as delicious, I promise! Plus, the variations are endless. You can try any number of different nuts, greens, and seasonings to get your pesto just how you like it. I used pine nuts this time, but have had just as much success in the past using walnuts. Also, I’ve tried subbing out some of the basil for kale or spinach if I didn’t have enough fresh basil on hand. Any way you go, this makes a tasty topping for bread, an easy pasta sauce, or a condiment to spice up a basic sandwich.
Vegan Roasted Garlic Pesto
1 cup basil leaves
1/2 cup spinach leaves, chopped
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic
1/3 cup pine nuts (or walnuts)
sea salt + pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Remove the stem of the garlic clove and wrap entire clove in aluminum foil, leaving the papery skins attached. Bake for 20-30 minutes
3. Toast pine nuts in a heated skillet, about two to three minutes or until golden brown
4. Remove roasted garlic from the skins and place into food processor.
5. Add basil, spinach, nuts, juice from the lemon, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth and creamy.
6. Spread on bread, stir into pasta, etc., and enjoy!
Hopefully this is the first of many recipes made straight from my back yard. Here’s to super-local eating!