Make Your Own Vegan Pesto
Pesto… I’m addicted! And it’s so easy to make. I pretty much eat it with everything.
Traditional pesto is made of fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmigiano Reggiano, extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice, pounded using a mortar and pestle. However, there are numerous variations and all are equally delicious. I make mine without the cheese, substituting the pine nuts for cashews, almonds or walnuts and the basil for whatever green leaves I can get my hands on.
It’s great to use up any herbs you’ve got lurking in the salad drawer, or even greens you might usually throw away, like carrot tops.
My absolute favourite is kale pesto, using cavolo nero leaves, but whatever you choose to make it with, it’ll be delicious! Plus, it’s so much cheaper than buying it ready made.
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You could make it the traditional way, using a mortar and pestle, but I use my Optimum G2.3 Induction Blender*.
This recipe doesn’t require exact amounts. Firstly, it will depend on your own personal tastes and secondly, it’s not an exact science. I tend to just use what I’ve got and it always works out just fine.
- 1 handful of nuts (cashews, walnuts, almonds and pine nuts work well)
- A few handfuls of greens, roughly chopped (such as kale, mint, basil, wild garlic, carrot tops)
- 2 handfuls of fresh chives, roughly chopped (optional)
- 1 teaspoon of minced garlic (or a couple of cloves through a garlic crusher)
- A squeeze of lemon
- A few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
Blitz the nuts until they form a crumbly mixture. Then add the other ingredients to the jug, liquid first, and blitz again until it becomes smooth.
Note: it’s important to roughly chop the chives and other greens before adding them to the blender or they can become tangled.
You may want to add a little more oil to make the consistency a little looser or a bit more seasoning to suit your personal taste towards the end. Then blitz one final time before serving.