In my opinion, the best parts about pesto is the strong garlic flavour, the saltiness, and richness of nuts and olive oil. Pesto goes a long way in creating delicious pastas, as a pizza sauce, as a veggie and cracker dip, on oven roasted potatoes, in dressings and more.
Here's what you need: a 'green' base, garlic, olive oil, salt, nuts, and nutritional yeast. Be creative- instead of the traditional basil, why not try cilantro, spinach, or kale? Instead of pine nuts, how about sunflower seeds or walnuts?
(Makes enough for one box of penne or bow-tie pasta)
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup whole walnuts (less if walnuts are chopped)
1 tsp salt
3 cups loosely packed spinach (I used two cups spinach, one cup kale)
1/3 cup olive oil or more to get a smooth consistency
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
pepper, to taste
In a food processor, blend the garlic cloves and walnuts until uniform. Add in the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Taste, and add more salt, pepper or oil if desired.
* For a delicious meal, I roasted a head of chopped broccoli florets and a red pepper, cut and tossed in a little olive oil and S&P at 375F for about 30 min, or until cooked and broccoli quite golden brown. I used bow tie pasta, tossed in the pesto, roasted veggies and some fresh chopped black olive and mixed everything together. Two thumbs up!