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Parsley Pesto Recipe - Plant-based, Homemade

This delicious, homemade pesto can be used in a variety of ways. My favorite ones include pesto-pastas, adding it to tortilla wraps or using it as a spread on sandwiches.

Plant-based, Homemade Parsley Pesto Recipe


2 c fresh parsley leaves 1/2 c dry roasted cashews (or pine nuts, hazelnuts, or other nuts, I tend to use cashews for this recipe) 1-2 cloves of roasted garlic or about 1/2 t of garlic powder 1/2 t sea salt or Himalayan pink salt 1/2 t of freshly ground black pepper 2.5 T of nutritional yeast (mostly for protein, B vitamins and the yummy, cheesy flavor) 1 t of herbs the Provence herb mix 1 T lemon juice 1/2c - 3/4c extra virgin olive oil (I usually add about 1/2 cup to the mixture and then drizzle a bit on top of everything once it's already in the jar)


Garlic: I recommend roasting your garlic along with some other veggies you may be roasting in your oven, for instance pumpkins, potato wedges, chickpeas, etc.- you just throw in a few garlic cloves (unpeeled) and use them as soon as they cool down or keep in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to a few days. But it's totally fine if you use some garlic powder instead in this recipe, just be mindful of the quantity, as garlic powder is more pungent (due to the more concentrated flavor) than cooked or even raw garlic. Nuts: If the nuts you're using haven't been roasted you should roast them before you begin making the pesto. You can do it in the oven or, since it's a small amount I recommend using a small frying pan and dry roasting them for about 4 minutes. I sometimes like to crush the nuts into smaller chunks before I roast them, especially if they're quite big like cashews, but you don't have to do this- you can let your food processor take care of that later. Food-processor: I like to use a manual food processor for this recipe for two reasons. One- I can easily make sure I don't over blend everything and end up with an oily smoothie instead of a pesto consistency. And two- this is quite a small amount of ingredients and I would need to double or triple them in order for my regular food processors to process them well. However, if you have a smaller food processor or one with a special spatula/tamper then perhaps you don't need to worry about the quantity. My manual mini food processor costed me the equivalent of $7 so it wasn't a huge expense and although perhaps it isn't the best quality, I've loved using it for things that doesn't require being blended all the way like pesto or guacamole, (I probably wouldn't recommend it for smoothies, hummus, nut-butters or other kinds of more paste-like spreads, though). Step 1- Prepare your parsley: Wash it and remove the leaves from the stems. Discard the stems (you can freeze them and use them next time you're making vegetable broth if you like; you can also use them in green smoothies. If you're not going to use them, compost them.) Step 2 option A- the simple way: Throw all the ingredients into your food processor and pulse until you've reached your pesto desired consistency. And you're done. (Or follow the steps below) Step 2 option B- the way that works best for my food processor: 1 - Begin by adding about half of the parsley leaves to your food processor first. 2 - Now add in the garlic (roasted cloves or powder), salt, pepper, Provence herb mix and nutritional yeast. 3 - "Cover" that with the second half of the parsley leaves. 4 - On top of it all, pour the lemon juice and about half of your olive oil. 5 - Run the food processor, either manually if you use what I use or by gently pulsing it a few times. 6 - When it seems like there aren't any whole parsley leaves left anymore, add the roasted nuts and the rest of the olive oil. Pulse again until everything mixes well and the parsley leaves are shredded to little bits. See my picture for reference, use your imagination or simply google "green pesto" and try to match your consistency to what you see. Taste the pesto and decide whether or not you need to add a bit more salt at this point. Keep in mind that the garlic flavor will usually intensify quite a bit the next day. You may wish to add some more olive oil while blending or do what I do, (see the next step).

Step 3- Transfer your pesto to a glass jar. If you find that it could use a little bit more olive oil, add some on top of it. I find that it helps preserve it better- whenever my pesto is covered by olive oil like that I feel like it lasts a day or two longer in the fridge this way. You can also skip adding any olive oil all together. I recommend consuming this pesto within 2-3 days. Alternatively, you can also freeze some of it for later. If you do, I recommend defrosting it naturally- not in a microwave- simply let it thaw at room temperature. Note: I divide my parsley in half as described because I find that everything incorporates better this way, especially all of the dry ingredients that they way don't go and stay all the way at the bottom of the bowl. I also add in the nuts a little later because I like them to not get as finely chopped as the greens here.

You may also like: Nettle Pesto Recipe, Wild Garlic Pesto Recipe.


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