A Deliciously Creamy Vegan Basil Pesto Recipe
So first things first – let me explain the title ‘A One Basil Plant Recipe for Two Servings of Creamy Vegan Pesto’. It’s a bit of a mouthful – but a tasty one.
Why One Basil Plant?
The reason for this is because I only have one basil plant on my windowsill (you can read about my other windowsill herbs in this post, which includes links to another super vegan pesto that’s made from parsley, mint and pistachio!)
Look up any recipe that uses fresh basil leaves to make pesto and you will see that you’ll need cups of the stuff, sometimes as much as 100 grammes. One plant will not give you this amount. In fact you’ll probably need about six plants to give you this amount. One plant, whether shop bought, or grown from seeds will probably give you about 20 grammes max, but that’s just my experience. Do I plan on having six plants in the future, gracing my windowsill – well why not! I just adore its smell. But for now it’s one plant – meaning two servings of pesto that can be used for pasta, as a topping for pizza, as a dip for breadsticks or spread on toasted sandwiches.
Why Vegan Pesto?
Since becoming a pescatarian (I don’t eat meat but I do eat fish), I’ve stopped eating cheeses that contain animal rennet. Animal rennet is an enzyme that’s derived from the stomach of calves, lambs and kid goats, and can only be done so before they consume anything other than milk – hence the reason the enzyme isn’t taken from the stomachs of cows, sheep and goats. And as Parmesan is made with animal rennet, I no longer eat it.
What Do I Use instead of Parmesan?
I like the taste of Parmesan in pesto. Actually I like it on most of my pasta or pizza dishes so as a substitute I use Nutritional Yeast. It’s a man made yeast like Baker’s Yeast or Brewer’s Yeast, except for the fact that it’s washed and heated to make it inactive which means that it doesn’t froth or grow like these other yeasts.
Most brands of nutritional yeasts are fortified with Vitamin B12, making them a healthy addition to dishes too.
This recipe is simple and tasty. I added two cloves of garlic because I like garlic but taste test yours first with one first. You might not yield a large mason jar but it’ll be enough for a couple of really tasty servings and as it only takes five minutes to prepare, it’s definitely worth that little bit of effort.
14g of Fresh Basil Leaves
10g of Pine Nuts
1 Clove of Garlic (I use two though!)
4 Teaspoons of Nutritional Yeast
6 Teaspoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Pinch of Sea Salt ground
Pinch Coarse Black Pepper
Drizzle of Lemon Juice
- Put everything into a food processor and blend.
- Have a taste.
- Add a little more salt or that extra clove of garlic, depending on your taste.
This pesto will last about a week in the fridge but up to four months in the freezer, but believe me it won’t last that long … because you’ll have eaten it by then!