Food · vegan

Easy vegan walnut pesto!

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I love a good pesto. It’s fresh, tasty, and a change of pace from your everyday red sauce. Because it’s nice and light, it’s also a great alternative to a white cream sauce, which I think makes it great for summer- especially if you have fresh basil growing in your yard! I served this pesto with a penne, but it would also be great on a crostini as an appetizer, spread on toast for a no fuss breakfast, or used as a sandwich spread.

What you need:

About 2.5-3 cups of fresh basil (I used two 2.5 ounce plastic containers from the market), 1 cup walnuts, 1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, 1/4 cup hemp hearts (if you can’t find these, it’s ok to omit them, but they are a great addition because they provide a nutty flavor and pack an extra punch of protein), 4 cloves of garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, a few grinds of fresh pepper, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Here’s the plan:

Place walnuts into food processor and pulse until finely chopped. You want these to be chopped into small pieces, but don’t pulse so long that you have a powder, you still want a small crunch from the walnuts. Remove walnuts from the food processor and place in bowl, set aside. Add the basil, garlic, parsley, nutritional yeast, hemp hearts, salt, pepper and olive oil into food processor and blend until greens are completely broken down and a pasty consistency similar to hummus is formed. (you want it to be thick enough to coat the noodles, it should be creamy, but not too oily.) Remove pesto from food processor and mix into bowl with walnuts. Stir with a spoon to incorporate walnuts into pesto. Mix into your favorite pasta, or spoon onto a toasted and oiled (sliced) baguette. Enjoy!

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