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Almond Basil Pesto

This is easily my favorite pesto we have ever made! Whenever I make this recipe I get lost in the memories of walking through Italy's small streets passing locals, bistros, and cafes always with a hint of deliciousness in the air. Of all herbs, fresh basil has something magical to it, the way it's able to transform any mood into holiday- and enjoy-mode. If you aren't completely tantalized by the idea of fresh basil pesto in your own kitchen then there's one more thing; which is that this recipe is super simple to make and only requires a few easy steps.



Almond Basil Pesto Ingredients

  • Basil - Even the smell of fresh basil makes my mouth water! This pesto is loaded with deliciously smelling and tasting basil.

  • Almonds and Garlic - I recommend chopping up the almonds into chunks and dry toasting both almonds and garlic until golden brown or even slightly burned to bring out the flavor of the two (don't be afraid of getting some color on the almonds as it will just add more flavor;).

  • Parmesan and Nutritional Yeast - Since original basil pesto parmesan is often calls for the use of freshly grated parmesan, we decided to use a mix of nutritional yeast and vegan parmesan (we highly recommend the vegan parmesan from Violife, but feel free to buy any vegan parmesan).

  • Olive Oil - Rich olive oil isn't just super tasty but also healthy!



Almond Basil Pesto Tips

  • Creaminess - As I often make this pesto with pasta, I always save about ½ to ¾ of pasta water to then combine it with the al dente pasta and the pesto. Adding pasta water to the pesto allows it to become more creamy and will combine the pasta and pesto more smoothly.

  • Blending - It might seem unnecessary but I like to grate the parmesan first while blending the rest of the ingredients and throw the freshly grated parmesan into the blender right before the end. This way the parmesan gets slightly warm and gives the pesto an even creamier and rich note to it!

  • Texture - Obviously the more and longer you blend your pesto the finer it will turn out. I like mine pretty fine, so that there are no large almonds bits left. Afterwards I tend to chop up some additional basil and mix it under the pesto. This way I have a smooth pesto with some leafy bits to it.

  • Serving - We recommend grating some additional parmesan, grinding black pepper, chopping up some fresh basil leaves, and maybe even toasting up some extra almond bits to make your (pasta) dish complete!

  • Usage - As I already mentioned this pesto goes best with any pasta, but obviously there are many more endless ways to indulge this green deliciousness. Try adding it to grilled eggplant halves with tahini (more mediterranean vibes, haha), top it onto homemade flatbread or pizza, or even use it to turn a simple bowl of grains into a dazzling and exciting meal!


Ingredients

Easy - 3-4 servings - 10 minutes

  • 4 cups Fresh Basil

  • 4 Garlic Cloves

  • ½ cup Almonds

  • 7 tbsp Olive Oil

  • 1-2 Nutritional Yeast

  • ¼ cup Vegan Parmesan

  • 1 tsp Salt


Instructions

  1. In a small pan, dry toast the roughly chopped almonds and garlic cloves until golden brown or slightly burned. Remove from heat.

  2. Add all ingredients except the vegan parmesan to a blender and blend until desired consistency is reached.

  3. Grate the parmesan and add it to the blender. Blend.

  4. Serve with pasta and additional basil leaves, black pepper, and freshly grated parmesan. Enjoy!



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