Taylor's Vegan Pesto
For pesto pasta, as a spread for sandwiches instead of mayo,
on crostini, as a base for bruschetta, and for pizza.
I began making this for a good friend who required “no added oil” and “salt-free.“ Personally, I did not miss the oil, as commercial vegan pesto often contains 18 gm of oil per cup or more! You can add ¼ cup avocado oil and ½ tsp sea salt, if desired. Otherwise, it is vegan, oil, salt, and gluten-free.
I - Pesto Ingredients and Preparation
- 16 oz gluten-free pasta – my favorites: capellini, rotini, farfalle, fusilli, linguini
- 16 oz spinach leaves, regular or baby
- 8 oz basil leaves or 4 oz dried basil
- 8 oz other herbs (i.e., kale, cilantro) or 4 oz dried parsley
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 8-10 cloves of raw garlic or equivalent in garlic powder to taste
- 2 Tbsp Nutritional yeast (not Brewer’s yeast)
- 1 Tbsp mock chicken vegetarian seasoning (salt free)
- 1 Tbsp Salt-free Poultry Seasoning
- 1 Tbsp onion powder
- 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
- ½ cup raw or roasted unsalted cashews
- ½ - 1 cup raw or roasted unsalted peanuts
- ¼ cup raw or roasted unsalted pine nuts if desired
- 1 tsp NoSaltTM
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup almond or other plant-based milk
Place water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and then turn down heat.
Put leaves through a food processor until smooth, adding to saucepan a batch at a time.
Place milk, nuts, raw garlic, lemon juice, and dried seasonings in blender and puree. Add to saucepan.
Cook over medium heat until beginning to bubble. Lower heat and cook slowly for 30 minutes, stirring periodically. It should be ready to serve.
I often make a double or triple batch, cool it, and freeze in ½ cup containers. I can thaw one or more containers to make Pesto Pasta or Pesto Pizza (see below).
II - Pesto Pasta Ingredients & Preparation
Pesto is dense so I use the 12488 formulae when using it as a sauce for pesto pasta:
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 2 onions sliced thin and cooked until clear and soft (or caramelized)
- 4 ounces of vegan pesto
- 8 ounces almond milk
- 8 ounces cooked and drained pasta (I typically use gluten-free pasta)
Place milk, corn starch, onions, and pesto in a large saucepan and heat over medium heat to boiling point. Stir until mixture thickens slightly then turn heat to low.
Cook pasta to directions and drain.
Remove saucepan from heat and add cooked pasta, stirring until coated. Let stand 5 minutes as needed for pesto to absorb sauce.
Serve in pasta bowls. May top with a large spoonful of warmed marinara, if desired.
II - Pesto Pizza – Ingredients and Preparation
If you can eat wheat, I like to use sourdough English muffins. If you are gluten sensitive, you can use non-wheat pizza rounds and just spread the ingredients all over, bake, and serve as a regular pizza. Walmart typically carries these in their gluten-free section and some other stores do, as well.
- 8 sourdough English muffin halves
- 4 oz vegan pesto sauce
- 2 oz humus
- 1 small onion diced fine
- 4 oz chopped olives
- 4 oz chopped mushrooms, heated in frying pan until dry
- 2 oz chopped fresh tomatoes, if desired
- Nondairy cheese, if desired
Preheat oven to 350o F.
Toast 8 sourdough English muffin halves and place on a cookie sheet.
Smooth 1 Tbsp each of pesto sauce and humus on each muffin half. Add onions, olives, tomatoes, and mushrooms. Sprinkle on cheese, if desired.
Bake in preheated onion for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and serve. Goes well with soup or salad.