There’s something evocative about the smell of basil, the slight aniseed aroma that wafts upwards as you crush the stalks beneath your hand instantly brings the lazy warmth of summer to mind.
“I’m a huge fan of one pot dishes, whether a tagine or a big salad, the flavours combine and meld together to create a satisfying culinary experience”
Pesto is simple to make as long as you have some form of blender or food processor and the combinations you can create are limited only by your imagination!
To add a slight cheesy edge, while keeping the dish dairy free, I use Nutritional Yeast. Featuring a full accompaniment of B vitamins it is also a complete protein and contains trace minerals including zinc and magnesium.
I’m currently experimenting with the range of gluten free pastas available from Eco Organics so I decided to match this sauce with the Black Bean Spaghetti.
Creamy Vegan Almond and Basil Pesto
¾ Cup of Activated Almonds*
1 Huge Bunch of Fresh Basil
2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
¼ Cup of filtered water**
2 Tablespoons of Nutritional Yeast
4 Cloves of Fresh Garlic
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and Pepper to taste
The Method – Could it get any simpler?
Add the almonds*, garlic cloves, yeast flakes, olive oil and water to the blender and blend until creamy. **Add the water in small doses until you reach a consistency where the mix blends easily, you may need to use more or less depending on how thick you like the sauce.
Add the basil and pulse till combined, you can make it as chunky or smooth as you like.
Add the salt and pepper to taste.
Bring a pan of water to boil and add the pasta, cook for 6-8 minutes then serve.
Serve in a bowl with extra salt and pepper to taste.
*Activated almonds are simply raw almonds that have been soaked for around 12 hours in water with a little salt. In simple terms it not only makes them extra soft and creamy for the sauce it also helps make them more digestible and allows our bodies to fully absorb their vitamins and minerals.
Make it Incredible!
Now that you have your basic pesto you can pimp it up with anything you like!
One of my fave additions is to cut some cherry tomatoes in half and add them to the bowl.
To add some texture and a hint of sweetness, slice an onion and caramelise it in some olive oil or non dairy spread then stir it through the sauce
As with all my recipes you can alter the quantities of everything to your own taste. this is not a sponsored post, all products mentioned are used because I LOVE them!