Spring pesto (vegan)

 

Spring Pesto

I have a confession. This was the first time that I made pesto. Ever. And I was really surprised and how easy something that tastes so sophisticated can be!

Pesto is normally made by blending together pine seeds, parmesan cheese, basil, garlic and olive oil but I wanted to try making a version without cheese.  My husband had the idea of adding in sun-dried tomatoes (which he loves) and I thought of adding some leeks and wild bear’s garlic which are currently in season. The dried tomatoes are already quite salty, so there was no need to add any salt. Exact quantities depend on taste, so you just need to keep tasting and adding ingredients until you are happy!

The result? A delicious pesto which can be used as a sauce in several ways.

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Here are the two ways I served it:

Day 1: Salad leaves, quinoa and zucchini noodles topped with spring pesto, grilled chickpeas and spring onion.

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The zucchini noodles were made using the latest addition to my kitchen – a spiralizer (thank you, Julia)! It feels like you are sharpening the zucchini, creating very long, curly pieces which have the feel of spaghetti.

Day 2: With pasta

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The following day my Italian rooted husband wanted to try the pesto in a more traditional way – with pasta.

Pasta cooking tip: Cooking it only until it is al dente and not fully cooked actually makes the pasta healthier, because the Glycemic Index (GI) is lower. The Italians are right about this one!

So there you have it, a simple Spring Pesto. Next time, I will make a bigger batch and store it in a jar in the fridge to try with even more dishes!

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8 Comments

  • Elena on May 07, 2013 Reply

    Pesto lovers club ! Traditionally you mix green beans (and even potatoes) with the pesto pasta. I usually just add a bunch of frozen beans while cooking the pasta, only one pan dirtied and a greener meal.

    • Hiba on May 08, 2013 Reply

      I didn’t realize that you traditionally add green beans and potatoes! I like your idea of a greener meal :)

  • Berenice on May 06, 2013 Reply

    MIAM!!!!

  • Hiba on May 06, 2013 Reply

    hi Julia! No, I steamed them for about 2 minutes. The spiraliser is very easy to use, it is like a pencil sharpener!

  • Julia on May 06, 2013 Reply

    hmmm, I’m sure it was delicious. Glad you like the spiralizer, looks like it’s working alright :-) did you use the zucchini spaghetti in the raw state?

  • Hiba on May 06, 2013 Reply

    Thank you both for your comment! Let me know if you give it a try!

  • Vanessa on May 06, 2013 Reply

    Waow, that is a yummy-looking pesto. I would never have thought of adding leeks and have actually never tasted raw leeks :-)
    I have bookmarked your recipe on my “must try”list.

  • Angela on May 06, 2013 Reply

    This sounds and looks soooo delicious, Hiba! Will have to try that one soon! Thanks for sharing :-)

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