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Basil Pecan Pesto

What you need: 

1/2 cup pecans, toasted golden brown and cooled
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves, washed and patted dry (wash only just before using)
1/3 cup vegan parmesan or light miso
2 garlic cloves, crushed or minced
pinch red pepper flakes, optional
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2/3 cup olive oil

What you do: 

1. In a food processor, finely chop the pecans. Next, add the basil, parmesan or miso, garlic, red pepper flakes (if using), and salt, and process very briefly.
2. Slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream and process for about 10 more seconds. You don't want a mushy paste here - some "graininess" and separation is perfect.
This pesto will keep in the fridge, surface covered with plastic wrap, for about 5-7 days. You can also freeze it -just scoop the pesto into ice cube tray compartments until frozen, and then transfer the pesto cubes to a freezer bag.
Some ideas:
I use two or three "cubes" or about 1/4 cup per 1/2 pound pasta (which serves two adults). Add the thawed pesto, along with a bit of reserved cooking water to thoroughly coat the pasta just before serving.
This pesto is great with grilled summer squash, such as zucchini and patty pans - brush it on just after grilling.
You might also swirl a bit of this pesto into servings of a broth-type soup just before presentation, if you want to be a super fancy pants and impress your foodie friends.

Preparation Time: 
10 minutes
Cooking Time: 
Recipe Category: 


Very very tasty! I did not pay a lot of attention to quantities.. I just sort of threw it all in the mini food chopper until it looked about right. I picked through about four bunches of basil to find the very best leaves, toasted the pecans in a dry skillet on my stovetop, threw the garlic cloves in whole and let the chopper do the mincing. I sort of have a hatred of vegan cheeses, but I found one called Vegan Grated Topping (Parmesan Flavor) that actually tastes pretty good. I also threw in some fresh cracked pepper, but skipped the red pepper. Then I alternated drizzling in water and McEvoy olive oil until the consistency looked right. We served it on top of fresh homemade pasta, and it was pure heaven. Need I say more?  :-)


This pesto is SO GOOD! Since I'm in college, I didn't have access to a food processor. I used my roommate's blender instead. The consistency wasn't the trademark coarse pesto, but it is beautiful as a paste. Just wanted to add that so no one feels scared to use a blender.
Did I mention how tasty this pesto is?
Dang tatsy, that how much.

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