You might have realized by now that many basil pesto recipes have parmesan cheese listed as an ingredient, making vegans around the world say, quite simply: “boo-hoo”. Luckily vegans now have a reason to say hooray: Daiya cheese!
This recipe I adapted from a Williams-Sonoma cookbook that I have. In addition to using Daiya, I made some other adaptations to recipe. Truthfully, I think that the key to a good pesto rests on two things: roasting your garlic, and toasting your pine nuts. Because nobody likes raw garlic or plain ol’ boring untoasted nuts. Nobody. Here is my pesto on some pasta.
This makes a lot more to store. I keep mine in a mason jar in the fridge, and it keeps for forever. I’ve left it for at least a few months and I’ve never seen it go bad. Excellent news for when the zombie apocalypse comes.
Vegan Basil Pesto
Ingredients: Makes 5 cups of sauce total
|• 4 cups tightly packed fresh basil
• 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
• 1 cup of olive oil
• 2/3 cup of pine nuts
|• 1 tsp salt
• Freshly ground pepper, to taste
• 1 1/2 cups daiya mozzarella shreds
• 4 Tbsp Earth Balance
1. From your 1 cup of measured olive oil, pour about 2 Tsbp of oil into a frying pan. Place thinly sliced garlic into oil and brown garlic over medium heat, turning once and being careful not to burn garlic- about 1 minute. Set aside and let cool.
2. Place pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat. Shake the skillet frequently to ensure even browning. The pine nuts are small and full of rich oil, and will burn quickly if you don’t watch carefully. When the nuts are fragrant and browned, take the pan off the heat. Transfer the pine nuts to a plate to cool.
3. Place all ingredients in a food processor and puree.
4. Place into mason jar or tupperware and keep in refrigerator to store.
Use 1 cup of pesto for every 1 lb of pasta. Mix 2 Tsbp of cooking water from the pasta with the pesto. After draining the pasta, add this to the cooked pasta. You can use more of the cooking water to help loosen the sauce as you toss it.
Stay tuned to see this pesto recipe used in an amazing vegan pizza.