Pesto is one of my favourite snacks and one that takes very little time to prepare. I was planning on putting my basil pesto recipe into my cookbook “The Little Book of Vegan Snacks” but every time I made it, I ate it before I had a chance to photograph it. Even just for this post I made a double quantity so I could eat some and photograph it. And guess what? Yep, I ate it. But I restrained myself somehow and managed to take some photographs first.
I have started growing my own basil and at the moment I have a few basil plants, but only enough to add the odd leaf to a tomato salad or to add flavour to a dish, not quite enough for basil pesto. Not yet, anyway. I’m still working on my green thumb. It’s changing but it’s taking some time. My hope is that my beautiful basil plants will produce enough basil to keep me in a continual supply of pesto. Until then most of the ingredients in my basil pesto are items I have permanently in my pantry. All I need to buy is some fresh basil and hey presto, pesto.
I am going to share four things that I use my basil pesto for. The first one is as a dip. I simply combine the ingredients in a food processor and then spread it on my favourite cracker, sometimes with some tomato and salt, sometimes just on its own.
The second one I often use when I am in a bit of a rush to cook dinner. I put on some spaghetti or pasta to cook, blend up the pesto and stir it through the cooked spaghetti. I add some tomatoes and mushrooms and dinner is made within the time it takes to cook the spaghetti, and there is often left overs for lunch the next day.
The third recipe requires a little more effort but the taste explosion in your mouth makes it all worthwhile. Blend the pesto. Use a grater to slice zucchini into strips. Add a teaspoon full of pesto to the end of the zucchini strip, add some sprouts, roll it up and stick a toothpick in it to keep it together. Stand it on its end and serve.
And the fourth is pesto pizza. I use store bought pizza bases when I’m in a rush and cauliflower pizza bases when I have some more time. Spread the pesto on the pizza base, add some rocket and sliced mushrooms. Capsicum or sun-dried tomato would also work well, too.
And there you have it. One pesto recipe, four snack/dinner ideas.
If you have any left-over pesto store it in a glass jar in the fridge for up to a week.
How do you use your pesto?
If you like these snack ideas, I have lots more in “The Little Book of Vegan Snacks” ebook available here.Print
The Most Versatile Vegan Basil Pesto
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Total Time: 5 mins
- Yield: 1 cup
- Category: Snack
- Cuisine: Australian
1 bunch basil leaves
½ cup pine nuts
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp savoury yeast flakes
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
salt, to taste
Blend basil, pine nuts, garlic, savoury yeast flakes, ¼ cup olive oil and lime juice together.
Add extra olive oil if using it for a spaghetti sauce. Scrape sides of bowl down.
Blend again, if needed.
Store in glass jar in fridge.
Replace pine nuts with macadamias.