Pesto is amazing. It’s simple, flavorful, versatile, and can be made out of virtually anything. Truly, the only ingredients necessary to consider something a pesto are oil and fresh herbs. If you have an abundance of herbs and need to use them before they go bad, just blend them with olive oil and call it pesto! It also makes everything more delectable, from roasted vegetables to sandwiches to salads.
Traditional pesto is a blend of olive oil and basil, garlic, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese. This vegan version replaces cheese with nutritional yeast, which makes sense because it has a natural cheesy-buttery flavor. If you’ve never had it, you should try it on popcorn—it’s great and super healthy. In this recipe, the nutritional yeast helps the pesto retain its cheesiness and also makes the texture thick enough to cling to the pasta. My only note on the recipe is that some of the commentors from the original site prefer to halve the amount of olive oil. I started with ¼ cup but gradually added more until I was almost at the ½ cup called for in the recipe. It’s just a matter of personal preference, so you really can’t go wrong.
I served the pesto tossed with Tinkyada fusilli, cooked al dente. It was easy to make, and ideal for serving to company because I could make the pesto a day ahead. Please share in the comments if you have a favorite pesto recipe! What do you love to serve with pesto?
Simple Vegan Pesto via Food 52
Gena Hamshaw May 2013