I realised that I had never actually featured any pesto recipe here before. With my nut allergy, I don’t actually make pesto that often. But I was inspired to make a nut-free version when I got this mortar and pestle as a Kris Kindle (Secret Santa) gift for Christmas in the office. What a thoughtful gift!
Did you know that pesto infact originates from the use of a pestle to make it? (It’s from the Genoese word Pestâ (Italian: pestare), which means to pound, to crush, in reference to the original method of preparation, with marble mortar and wooden pestle).
While it does sound like it involves a bit of work to grind pesto in this way, it actually is very agreeable. The fragrances that are released during grinding are really exquisite and the result is a much tastier pesto despite the fact that this one was a nut-free version.
This is also garlic free but feel free to add it in if you like.
Vegan Nut-Free Pesto
Ingredients (yields only about 2 tablespoons of pesto)
25g, washed, fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoons olive oil, as needed
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (adjust to taste)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Sea salt, to taste
- Grind basil leaves in mortar and pestle (or blender).
- Add the nutritional yeast and salt (be careful with these two as nutritional yeast is already quite salty).
- Add lemon juice.
- Lastly add enough olive oil to keep it moist and spreadable.
- Cover and store chilled for at least an hour.
- Pour a thin layer of extra olive oil, if you like, over the top to help keep it bright green.