We all love pesto, but it can be deceivingly heavy, given the amount of parmesan cheese and oil hidden in the seemingly innocent green sauce. For this recipe, I nixed the cheese and popped in some heart-healthy walnuts for a simple, go-to vegan pesto. Trust me â€“ you wonâ€™t miss the original.
Vegan Walnut Pesto
- 1/2 cup raw walnuts
- 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Lemon zest of 1 lemon (about 1-2 tsp)
- 2 garlic gloves
- Salt and Pepper
- 1/4-1/2 cup olive oil
Few ingredients that you may already have on hand. My basil was a dark green/purple, making for a violet pesto.
In a food processor, pulse together walnuts and basil until the walnuts are ground into semi-fine pieces. You donâ€™t want to make a basil-walnut butter out of this, so donâ€™t overprocess.
Next add the lemon, lemon zest, garlic, and salt and pepper. Drizzle in the olive oil slowly while you pulse the pesto in the food processor. Once the mixture holds together by its creaminess, it is ready.
After eating a few bites with a spoon, remind yourself that pesto is best when complementing other dishes, such as pasta, chicken/fish, salads, or antipasti.
Garnish with a basil leaf. Bon Appetit!