Pesto is one of my favourite things – I spread it on toasted sandwiches, serve it with spaghetti, and add it to a cream cheese bagel or pizza to liven things up. When I decided to cut out dairy and eat plant based, I didn’t want to give it up, so I’ve been experimenting to find something that tastes amazing but is also vegan friendly. This recipe is a little different as it combines a traditional pesto base with another of my favourite things, sundried tomatoes. These rich, flavourful wonders add a lovely depth, and I also throw in a handful of spinach to add to the nutritional value. You could make this without the extras, but I promise it’s even more delicious with them, and Popeye would approve.
You will need:
- 2 cups of fresh basil
- 1/2 cup of sundried tomatoes
- a handful of spinach
- 1/2 cup of olive oil (or, for extra flavour you can use the oil from the jar of sundried tomatoes, if they came in one)
- 1/2 a cup of pine nuts (you can also use walnuts, and I’ve subbed in some cashews when I was running low on pine nuts)
- 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast (super important, trust me! order this on amazon or ocado if you can’t get to a health food shop, this provides the cheesy, umami taste)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- a squeeze of lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
There’s not really much in the way of instructions here, you simply blend these ingredients together in a food processor or blender until you reach your desired consistency. Although nutritional yeast is familiar to all the vegans out there, it might sound a little strange to the uninitiated. Trust me when I say this recipe desperately needs it, so be sure to pick some up in your local Holland & Barrett or online – you can use the rest to make wonderful cheese sauces and vegan mac & cheese, I have recipes for both of these coming soon so keep your eyes peeled!
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