I was thinking about some of my favorite things that I’m making on a regular basis these days and how they came about “accidentally.” I meet and then cook for so many people who have special food needs, including myself, of course. For one person it’s no nuts, for another it’s no dairy, for someone else it’s no egg yolks. The permutations and combinations of food issues can be endless.
For one dinner I wanted to make pesto — but with no walnuts or parmesan cheese. So I used toasted pumpkin seeds in place of the walnuts and to spice it up a little bit more. But then there was one day that I didn’t have seeds so I made the following vegan pesto recipe, which is now my standard:
- 1 large bunch of fresh basil, washed, stems removed
- 1 small bunch fresh cilantro (or parsley, if you don’t like cilantro) washed, stems removed
- ½ ripe avocado
- 1 clove garlic, or to taste, finely chopped or pressed
- ½ lemon, juiced
- Salt to taste
- ¼ cup organic delicious olive oil or more
In a food processor, add basil and cilantro or parsley. Process until well blended, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. With processor on, slowly pour olive oil into the bowl until well blended. It should be pretty creamy; add more oil as needed. Chop up garlic and avocado and add to bowl, blend until thoroughly mixed. This will lighten the green and really integrate everything. Scrape down sides of bowl and blend again. Add lemon juice and salt to taste, mix one more time. Enjoy!
I’m not sure how I decided to add the avocado, but it really works when there is no other fat source. The combination of basil and cilantro is wonderful as well. I love this recipe on gluten free pasta or salmon or stir fry and quinoa.