If this pesto looks as if it’s easy to make, that’s because it is. You’re grabbing handfuls of basil, tossing them into a blender or food processor with some macadamia and pine nuts, a few cloves of garlic, a pour of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, a dash of nutritional yeast, a pinch of sea salt, a few grinds of pepper, and blitzing it all up into the prettiest green sauce. Simplicity, with the tastiest result.
The usual scenario is that I’ve got a family dinner to make, and if everyone says “pasta” and I’ve only got a half an hour to make it happen, this is my go-to sauce. Hopefully I’ve got basil — if not you can substitute with kale or spinach — but honestly, basil is what makes this sauce fragrant like a summer afternoon at the farmers’ market. I’ve spent many Sundays gathering up as much basil as I can to fix this sauce. You can make it ahead of time and store it in the fridge for about a week or two. (Good luck on the sauce lasting that long.) I like to make it the day before and have a jar on hand for spreading on sandwiches, adding to noodles, and smearing upon my toast to top with tomatoes and avocado, oh, and if you’d like, try it in a veggie lasagna.
I’m making a big family dinner this week and plan to add this pesto sauce into lasagna with homemade macadamia + cashew ricotta, along with layers of zucchini and butternut squash. Pesto is a family favorite, perfect on penne and ravioli too. I’ll put together the recipe for the lasagna, and by then you’ll have already made a few batches of this pesto sauce.
2 cups fresh basil leaves
2/3 cup raw macadamia nuts, unsalted
1/4 cup lightly toasted pine nuts
2 cloves garlic
6 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice + zest
sea salt + fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Add basil leaves, macadamia and pine nuts, garlic, nutritional yeast, lemon zest in a blender/food processor and pulse until roughly blended. Add extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice until smooth and you have a desired texture. Add sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Add more lemon juice, nutritional yeast flakes, sea salt and pepper until you love it.
Keeps in fridge for 1-2 weeks, but I don’t think you’ll have any left by day 2. What are some of your favorite dishes to use pesto in?