The last few Summers we have been busy. At the best of times, we are very good at enthusiastically biting off WAY MORE than we can chew. Needless to say, parenting small children & running a business during the first year of the pandemic complicated things. Sadly, this led to very little bottling / preserving last year & NO WINTER PESTO! 😭
This year, we made pesto a priority! Back in the Spring, Christopher planted around 200 basil plants, with the intention of making MASSES of pesto this Fall. (Genovese, Italian Large Leaf, Tuscan... All our favourites basils!)
Well, I am happy to report that we have 20lbs of homegrown, vegan pesto in our deep freeze & that the plants are still producing! 🎉
As you might have guessed, we LOVE basil pesto. 20lbs might sounds like an insane amount for a small family, but we just love the intensity that comes with homegrown basil & garlic.
We've been enjoying fresh pesto all Summer long, but this freezer pesto is the perfect way to relish the rich flavours of Summer herbs into the Fall, Winter & Spring.
You may still be wondering how on Earth we will possibly eat it all. Well, our pesto consumption looks like this:
- over pasta salad
- added to creamy sauces
- a key ingredient in vinaigrettes
- as pizza sauce
- as a sandwich / cracker spread
- in savoury pastries
- mixed with soft goat cheese
- added to tomato sauces & soups
- layered in lasagna
This list could go on & on! 🍃🍃🍃
Without any more annoying recipe blog preamble... Here's our pesto recipe! 😘
Homegrown Basil Pesto *Vegan*
*We leave out the cheese for allergy reasons, but you don't have to!
What You'll Need
A food processor, a rubber spatula, bowl & containers to store your pesto in the freezer. These containers could be small mason jars or ice cube trays.
- 4 cups fresh basil (washed & packed)
- 1 cup mixed nuts & seeds (we use sunflower seeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds & roasted cashews)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1/3 cup sundried tomatoes (oil packed)
- 1-3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- salt to taste
*Something to consider* Over-processing the nuts & olive oil can damage their delicate fat molecules, creating a bitter flavour. 😎
1. Pulse nuts & seeds in food processor until desired texture is reached. (We like it more coarse for spreads & fillings, finer for sauces & salad dressing.) Remove from food processor & set aside.
2. Grind up the sundried tomatoes, minced garlic & nutritional yeast. Set aside.
3. Pulse the basil in the food processor to the desired texture, scraping down the sides between each pulse. You may need to do this step in batches, depending on the size of your machine.
4. In the bowl, mix all ingredients -except the salt- together. This is where the olive oil is added as well. Give your pesto a taste before adding any salt. Sundried tomatoes can add varying levels of saltiness, so it's important to taste test first!
5. Host a dinner party! (Or put it away for later...)
Have fun! xo