How to make pesto

A hit of fresh pesto will liven up anything. It’s summertime now, which means it’s basil season. Here’s how to make an easy vegan basil pesto sauce in minutes.

Do you make pesto? The best time to make pesto is when basil is in high season. One bunch of basil will make enough pesto to last a week, and add so much enjoyment to simple summer meals.

Traditional pesto has lots of Parmesan cheese in it. I love that kind of pesto, but I wanted to see if I could make a vegan version that was just as delicious. I simply left the cheese out, and was so surprised to find that the pesto tasted great without it. You can add cheese if you prefer, but you might want to try it this way and see if you actually need the cheese.

Three things I love about pesto

Making pesto is fast. Fast as in, instant. Got to love that.

Pesto, without the cheese, keeps well.

Pesto is extremely versatile. There are very few savory foods that pesto doesn’t compliment.

Making pesto

I use my Vita Mix blender. It’s super powerful and makes great sauces and condiments. I’m not sure how regular blenders handle the nuts.

  • Wash a bunch of basil, throw it in the Vita Mix.
  • Add equal amounts of raw pine nuts and good quality extra virgin olive oil.
  • Add a dash of sea salt (if you were using cheese, you would skip this)
  • Add a few whole, peeled cloves of garlic (how many will depend on how big your garlic is)
  • Blend until smooth, and taste. Does it need more oil? Nuts to give it body? Garlic? Adjust and blend again until you get a nice smooth paste with a bright balance of garlic and basil.

I toss pesto with everything. In the picture, I’ve roasted zucchini and mustard greens in olive oil and salt, added a few strips of fresh pasta from a previous lasagne, and tossed it all with pesto. Delicious. I also roast fingerling potatoes and mustard greens, kale or broccoli rabe, and toss them all with pesto while still hot. This dish is actually better the next day, after the pesto has made its way into the center of the creamy potatoes. I prefer to eat it at room temperature, like a pesto-potato salad.

Making pesto takes two minutes, keeps for a week and adds joy to everything it touches. Throw a dollop in pumpkin soup, add some to scrambled eggs, smear some on top of your pork loin, toss it with all kinds of veggies.

Be happy, make pesto. Pronto!


Kitchen Counter Compost

Don't Miss This

Are You Ready for Cricket Flour Cookies? If you're not ready to eat insects whole, try baking with cricket flour Sustainable Food | Clean Eating | Alternative Protein   A stroll down your local health food store's baking section wi...
L’Etoile A gem of fine dining located right on Capitol Square in Madison, Wisconsin, L’Etoile is not only a bastion of high-quality food and service; it is a neighborhood institution. Congresspeople mingle ...
Daily Bread: Doing Business and Doing Good JP and Michelle MacFadyen are dedicated to sustainable practices in their restaurant and to sharing the bounty of their bakery with others through local food donations to feed the hungry. By now we...
Ethical Foods on a Budget: 7 Ways to Save Money How to save money in the kitchen that you can use towards buying clean, sustainably produced foods. On our Ethical Foods on a Budget page we list numerous ways in which you can lower your grocery bil...

Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Affiliate links may appear on this page. We may receive a commission on purchases made through affiliate links. Learn more on our Terms Of Use page

What do you think?