Saturday, July 9, 2011

Pesto for all (or most)!

The First Church garden is really great at growing basil. The plants may fear being squashed by jungles of tomatoes, but it still does well (and we've planted a lot of it!) Last summer I began my search for a great pesto recipe that would suit our nut-free and vegan bent. I tried replacing the cheese and nuts with various things with okay results, but it was obvious that something wasn't quite right.

Now I think I've found the secret. If you add a little lemon juice, you will no longer be disappointed when the pesto doesn't taste like cheese and nuts. I'm hoping many of you were able to sample some of this recipe last week at coffee hour. It's adapted from this strange blog and goes like this:

Lemony Basil Pesto

2 c basil leaves
2-6 cloves of garlic (I actually used about 10 garlic scapes this time instead.)
2 T nutritional yeast (Sold in the bulk section of Harvest)
2 T sunflower seeds (hulled and preferably raw)
2 T lemon juice
2-6 T extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste
maybe some pepper too

Roughly chop basil leaves, garlic, nutritional yeast, and sunflower seeds in the food processor. Add lemon juice and 2 T of olive oil and process until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste and thin with more olive oil if you'd like to put it on pasta or prefer a thinner pesto.

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