Since Janik and I decided to start gardening (there are ten plots available in our strata development) I’ve never looked back. The aroma of fresh basil, rosemary, and oregano and the vibrant array of colours is tantalizing.
Last year we planted two entire rows of basil (approx. 12 plants) and it was a shame that much of it went to flower and was never used. This year we have three plants that yield copious amounts of basil, and we’ve agreed that all of it will be used even if it means freezing it for use during the winter months.
Up until now I have never made pesto. I’ve always known how easy it is to make but relied on store-bought versions as a matter of convenience. This recipe was incredibly simple to make. As long as you plan ahead and purchase fresh basil at the market (or take the time to hand-pick leaves from the garden) there’s no need to buy pesto — ever again. Janik and I even agreed we prefer this pesto over the non-vegan variety (with pine nuts no less) that was once a staple in the Lamontagne household.
For a twist on this classic version, try our Tomato Pesto Sauce (link here).
*Try our Chickpea-Barley Minestrone as a starter before serving this pesto on a bed of freshly cooked pasta al dente*
*Serves two people. Double the ingredients for a family of four.
1/2 cup almonds, whole
4 garlic cloves, peeled
3 cups loosely packed basil leaves
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil + 1 Tbsp
1/4 cup vegan parmesan cheese
Few dashes of salt
1/Put almonds in your Thermomix mixing bowl. Chop 10 sec/Speed 7. You now have an almond flour base for your pesto.
2/Add garlic and basil leaves to the TM mixing bowl. Chop 8 sec/Speed 6. Scrape down sides of the bowl using a spatula.
3/Add 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup vegan parmesan cheese, and a few dashes of salt to the TM mixing bowl. Cook 3 min/90C/Speed 2. Once again, scrape down sides of the mixing bowl using a spatula.
4/Add 1 Tbsp of olive oil to the TM mixing bowl. Cook 1 min/90C/Speed 2.
5/Pour pesto over cooked pasta. Top with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese for a more decadent taste.
*Earth Island® Parmesan Style Grated Cheese Alternative
Note: This recipe was made using a Thermomix appliance, however it can easily be adapted using similar food prep tools (e.g. mutli-function processor, immersion blender etc) or using a more traditional stovetop method.