In my experience, a good pesto is key to any kitchen and while I have long loved the traditional incarnation in all its parmigiano glory, a tasty plant-based pesto is a must for adding some quick, zesty flavour to everyday lunches and dinners.
This is a basic recipe that relies on fresh lemon, greens and nutritional yeast for the perfect umame flavour that traditional Parmesan perfectly embodies. I use rocket here as I love its peppery taste and its bitter properties help stimulate the release of digestive juices and bile from the liver – making it a great and accessible aid for digestion and detoxification. You can swap the rocket for spinach, kale, cavolo nero or any greens you like – the thing with recipes like this is to take the base, tap into your tastebuds and make it your own accordingly. Likewise, almonds or other nuts make interesting alternatives to creamier cashews.
I used it in my pesto and halloumi wrap recipe but upon discussing with great fervour over the last few weeks how important pesto is in life, I thought I’d give it its own post.
Makes a medium bowlful
1 large handful fresh basil
1 large handful rocket
1 handful cashews
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp olive oil
Juice 1/2 lemon
1 small clove garlic
A generous sprinkle of salt and black pepper to season
Mix all the ingredients in a blender until chunky; season and adjust flavour to tatse.
Serve and store chilled; keeps in the fridge for up to 3 days.