Thursday, October 21, 2010

Making Pesto

The temperatures in Massachusetts are dropping into the mid 30's every night and the days are growing short.   It's time to harvest the last of our summer planting before the first hard freeze of Fall.   Although I'll keep oak leaf and red fire lettuce growing under the cold frame for another month, our bush-sized basil plants need to be harvested before they wither from the nightly low temperatures.

What do you do with 20 pounds of basil?   Make enough pesto to last all winter.   As vegans, we'll be eating pesto pizza, pesto linguine, and pesto covered toasted breads as the weather gets cold.

My wife has diligently plucked all the best leaves, visited Trader Joe's to stock up on pine nuts, and bought a box of Yellingbo olive oil.   Here's our recipe:

Vegan Pesto

2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup organic extra virgin olive oil
1 cup pine nuts
1-2 tablespoons garlic
1/3 cup nutritional yeast

Combine all ingredients except oil in a food processor until nuts are ground. Add oil until texture is creamy. Pesto should still have some texture (not too pureed).  Freeze extra in small containers for future use.


Bernz said...

With pine nuts (especially in basil pesto), I think it's important to toast them before grinding them. It makes their flavor much more pronounced and adds some aromatic qualities to the sauce.

Also, off-topic (but on topic to your usual blog), I enjoyed your talk at HPC this week.

Miguel Vilaplana said...

I did not know there was a Non-vegan Pesto sauce (??) and thanks for shairing your recipe!

Anonymous said...

Welcome "gastronomical" break from deciphering the regulatory jargon..Nice.

John Halamka said...

It's vegan because there is no cheese involved.

Anonymous said...

Pine nuts here are selling for $40.00/lb. Our pesto is going to be creative with nuts I think.

Crystal Anson said...

I need to make my own pesto, I am also vegan and sad because when I go out I am not able to enjoy.
Thanks for the recipe.

Andi Dunn said...

BTW, what is driving the price of pine nuts so high right now?

Miguel Vilaplana said...

Thanks for letting me know

Rich Landen said...

When COSTCO was out of pignolis, we found that toasted walnuts were a great substitution.

Anonymous said...

I loved the Yellingbo olive oil. The seal is fantastic-no more air in the oil. I had to search to re-order.

I really enjoy your blog.