Saturday, November 17, 2007

VeganMoFo: Pesto

Parsley-Almond Pesto

Pesto. I was thinking about it the other day and it is probably hands down my favorite way to eat pasta. Generally I make basil pesto's but when I have greens hanging out in the fridge that need to go I'll use them instead. Arugula, parsley, cilantro even spinach. They are all good. The same thing goes for nuts. It's usually pine nuts for me. But if I am out there are always almonds, pistachios, cashews, sunflower seeds etc to be used and they are just as good and sometimes better.

The other day I found I had a lot of parsley and hadn't had anything to really use it in. So I strapped Reno in her highchair and made a big batch of the stuff and wrote down the recipe. I keep it simple. No nutritional yeast. No soy milk. I've been seeing those ingredients a lot recently in vegan pesto's and I don't think they are needed. I understand the use of the yeast for a cheesy flavor but I prefer mellow miso instead. The soy milk, I have no idea why that's used in pestos, maybe to use less oil? I don't know. I like mine to be a bit oily. One of these days when I'm bored I will try out a nooch, soy milk recipe just to see what it's like. For now I'll just stick with my own.

Parsley-Almond Pesto

2 cups semi packed parsley
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1-2 tablespoons mellow miso (start out with 1 taste it and see if you'd like more added...I'm a miso lover so I always add 2)
2 cloves garlic (medium size cloves)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste
water to help blend if needed. (i made it in the blender this time instead of the Cuisinart, what i usually use, so it needed the extra liquid to help blend it.)
extra almonds

Add everything except the oil and water to the blender and blend until it's chopped up well. Slowly drizzle the oil in until well blended and is the consistency that you like your pesto to be. Some like it chunky some like it creamy it's up to you.

Thin with a few tablespoons of water if you feel you need extra liquid either to thin it out or help process it.

If you aren't using right away and storing the pesto in the fridge coat the top with a thin layer of olive oil to keep it the pretty shade of green it should be.

To serve. Cook pasta according to cooking directions. Drain pasta, return to pot and mix with pesto and extra almonds to give a nice crunch and extra texture to your meal.

Besides using it with pasta it's also great on: pizza, garlic bread (mix room temp earth balance with a ton of garlic and a few teaspoons of pesto), mixed with vegan mayo for sandwich spreads or to dip french fries in...mmmmmmmmmm, spread a thin layer on crostini and top with bruschetta...the possibilities of pesto are endless.


Anonymous said...

I agree with you and the use of mellow miso. Yum! I, however, am big in the soymilk camp. I've found I can almost cut my oil usage in half if I add soymilk. Sure, it's not the same but I just get all creeped out by the thought of consuming that much oil (not to mention the nuts). Even if it is olive.

Anonymous said...

Hey, just had to stop back here and ask about Reno. Is that her real name or is that the name you've chosen for her in blogland. I told my mom about it (cause I think it's a cool name) and she just didn't believe that you would really name her that. I said, is it any different than Austin or Savannah or Georgia?

MeloMeals said...

Love the pesto! I also have made pesto out of so many different greens/nuts.. and I do use nutritional yeast and miso.. and often beans to cut the fat.

Sometimes, I make the real thing lots of nuts and olive oil. I like it, but I like my low fat versions just as much.

JENNA said...

viv....tell your mom that yes we did name her Reno for reals. Reno is her first name and Sofia is her first middle name (she has two middle names). just yesterday, and other days, strangers ask her name and I say Reno and they try to correct me and say "don't you mean Rena?" I say nooooooooooooo...RENOOOOOOOO. Thanks for liking the name! we love it!!

melody...beans are a great idea to cut fat in pesto. unfortunalty for me i love my pesto's fat with oil. I will try it with beans.

Lori- the Pleasantly Plump Vegan said...

i've used different nuts in pesto and only used parsley in addition to basil when the basil was looking bad. i'll have to experiment with other greens/herbs. thanks for the post!

JENNA said...

plump....try arugula! it was my all time favorite pesto i've ever made!

bazu said...

Oh my gosh, I can practically taste this... although my computer wishes I'd stop licking its screen...

Anonymous said...