Pesto is that delicious green sauce that is sometimes used on pasta, and every now and then seen on adventurous pizzas in place of the ubiquitous red sauce.
Pesto is usually made with basil, and usually requires a hefty dose of parmesan cheese. But for this version, I’m making it completely vegan and also swapping out the basil for cilantro.
Cilantro looks a lot like parsley, but its got an amazing and distinct flavor all its own. It’s a bit lemony, a bit zingy and zany, and well… just generally delicious. Because it has such a strong flavor of its own, I think it packs enough punch to make up for a lack of cheese in this recipe.
Here’s how to make a batch for yourself:
- 1 big bunch of fresh cilantro
- 1/3 cup cashews
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- salt to taste
This stuff couldn’t be easier to make. Start by washing the cilantro and ripping it up into handfuls. No need to discard the stems, because it’s all going straight into the blender. Throw the cashews, olive oil and garlic cloves in with the cilantro in a blender. Pulse until smooth. Add the lemon juice and give it a taste. Add a little more lemon or some salt if desired.
Voila! Now all that’s left to do is eat it up. Try it over pasta, or as a dipping sauce for nearly anything you can think of. Trust me, it’s fabulous.
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Author: Kathryn Muyskens
Editor: Catherine Monkman