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Vegan Pesto Just in Time for Summer

Pesto is my desert island food. I eat it straight from the jar, smear it on sandwiches, and of course eat it on penne. I recently received a basil plant from my husband, and I've been making pesto about every other day. Not only is it delicious, but check out the benefits of basil (from scientific studies):

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Cancer-fighter
  • Pain-reducer (analgesic)
  • Fever-reducer (antipyretic)
  • Diabetes-preventer
  • Liver-protector (hepatoprotective)
  • Blood vessel-protector
  • Anti-stress solution
  • Immune-booster

 Basil is a wonder-plant!


If I make penne pesto, I throw in veggies, usually mushrooms sometimes broccoli, for extra nutrition. I also top it off with Kelly's Gourmet Cheeezy Parm, a delicious vegan parmesan that my friend Tracy and I found at the Scottsdale Vegetarian Festival last year. (Get her croutons too! Amazing.)

I've tried making pesto in a blender and it just doesn't work. Definitely use a food processor. I have the KitchenAid 7 Cup, it's an inexpensive great little machine! Check it out on Amazon.



Simple Vegan Pesto

Makes 1 generous cup

  • 2 cups tightly packed fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup walnuts or pine nuts
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  1. Place the basil, walnuts or pine nuts, and garlic in a food processor fitted with the S blade. Pulse to combine, until the mixture is coarsely ground.
  2. Turn the motor on and drizzle the olive oil in a thin stream. Add the sea salt, pepper, lemon, and nutritional yeast, and pulse a few more times to combine.

(Recipe from Food52, Gina Hamshaw)


PS. I'm not a food blogger. I literally take photos of my food as I'm eating it, thinking others might like this recipe. Forgive my last-minute, half-eaten food photos.

Enjoy! Happy Summer!