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Dairy-free, Vegan Pesto!

This pesto is so good that you or you friends will never notice it’s dairy-free!

The nutritional yeast adds cheesy flavor; the use of the nutritional yeast in this recipe is a replacement for the Parmesan, which contains animal rennet.

We do not really suggest using miso paste to the pesto as some people would, as in our opinion, the miso taste may overpower other flavors and may turn the mix to a dark color because of the miso paste.

Makes 1 generous cup

  • cups tightly packed fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, almonds, pine nuts or pitaschios 
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • tablespoon lemon juice
  • tablespoons nutritional yeast
We’ll need to grind the mix (basil, walnuts and garlic). You can either use 1) the food processor fitted with the S-blade or 2) go through the old-fashioned, original method that Italian cooks use with a mortar and pestle.
1) For the food processor method:
Fit the processor with an S-blade and pulse to combine until the mixture is coarsely ground. Turn the motor on and mix in the olive oil by drizzling in a thin stream, then add the sea salt, pepper, nutritional yeast and lemon. Pulse a few more times to combine them evenly.
2) For the old fashioned, mortar and pestle method:
Place the basil, walnuts (or pine nuts) and garlic in the vessel and pound away. Depending on the size of your mortar, if you do not have a large vessel to contain everything at one go, you can always grind and pound the basil, walnuts, and garlic separately, then combine them together to mix afterwards. While you’re at it, drizzle in the olive oil, add the sea salt, pepper, nutritional yeast and lemon to combine so that the ingredients are evenly mixed together (you do not want to find lumps of salt while eating) until it achieves the texture you want.
Spread generously on sandwiches, serve it with pasta, or as a topping for thickly sliced heirloom tomatoes. Once you’ve tried this recipe, you’ll see why the popularity of this vegan pesto is a Community Pick!

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