Of my top favorite herbs, basil is in the top two. It’s a fight between basil and cilantro, really. So imagine my surprise when my sister-in-law and I went grocery shopping only to find you can’t buy basil in anything but those small, tiny little packages that cost over $2 for one little stem! I don’t live in the most vegan or vegetarian friendly neighborhood, but I was shocked when I called SIX grocery stores in the area and none of them carried it. I mean, pesto is a pretty versatile addition so the fact that the main ingredient isn’t even available in a ten mile radius from me is just sad! It’s just another reason I can’t wait to get my garden growing!!
Another item within this recipe I had to truck myself across town for was something I, as a new vegan, didn’t have much experience with. Nutritional yeast is a very nutritional cheese flavor replacement for vegans that can be used in a ton of ways. I tasted it on it’s own first and I was surprised at how nutty it was. It does have a slight cheesy, salty flavor, a lot like parmesan, which makes it perfect for this recipe as well as in pasta, which I tried it with that night. Parmesan schmarmasean! Who needs cheese when you have this stuff, chock FULL of vitamin B12, B6, niacin and protein!
Anyway, on to the good stuff! I promise you won’t miss the cheese in this!
2 cups tightly packed basil leaves
3oz toasted pine nuts
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup EVOO
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
In a food processor, add basil, pine nuts and garlic. Pulse until everything is finely chopped.
Add nutritional yeast, lemon juice and salt. Turn food processor on and slowly drizzle EVOO until everything is combined. Add to your favorite dish or even just some whole wheat pasta.
- 2 cups tightly packed basil leaves
- 3oz toasted pine nuts
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1/2 cup EVOO
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- In a food processor, add basil, pine nuts and garlic.
- Pulse until everything is finely chopped.
- Add nutritional yeast, lemon juice and salt.
- Turn food processor on and slowly drizzle EVOO until everything is combined.
- Add to your favorite dish or even just some whole wheat pasta.