Kalamata Pesto!

I’ve just moved into a new apartment and, thanks to my fabulous Grandma, I now have a food processor!! I’ve been wanting one for years and finally I have it. I am SO EXCITED.

Naturally I wanted to celebrate by making pesto! I adapted this recipe from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s “Bestest Pesto“.

I used the greens and herbs I had on hand, but if you have more basil than I had, I recommend using more of that, and maybe less of something else. Also, if you hate cilantro, leave it out and put in more basil or spinach or anything else leafy and green that you like.

Note on garlic: I’ve been having a weird reaction to raw garlic lately, but I’m totally fine if it’s cooked for even just a few seconds. No idea what’s up with that, but since I love garlic more than life itself, I’ve gotten in the habit of cooking all my garlic for a few seconds.

Note on nuts: I recommend at least half your nuts be pine nuts if you can afford them. I couldn’t today, so I used walnuts and pecans, which turned out great anyway! But, if you can get pine nuts, use some!

I think I ended up with about 2 cups of sauce from this recipe.

½ cup nuts (I used ¼ cup walnuts and ¼ cup pecans)
6-8 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp Earth Balance soy butter (or just use more olive oil and a pinch of salt)
2/3 cup basil
1 cup cilantro
1 ½ cup spinach
1-3 Tbsp fresh herbs (I used oregano, Isa likes thyme…go ahead and experiment!)
3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
6 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup kalamata olives
2 Tbsp lemon juice (add more as needed)
salt and pepper to taste

First, toast the nuts. Heat up a (dry!) pan on medium-low, then put the nuts in it for about 10 minutes. Give the pan a good shake every couple minutes so the nuts don’t burn. When your nuts are nice and toasty, dump them right into the food processor.

If you’re cooking your garlic, you can now use that same pan. Melt the Earth Balance (or just put the olive oil right in the pan), then add the garlic, toss it around for 30 seconds to a minute, then dump all that in the food processor too.

Pulse the nuts and garlic a few times. Add the greens and herbs, and the nutritional yeast. Puree thoroughly, adding the olive oil as you go. Add the olives and lemon juice and whizz it up some more till the olives are completely mixed in. Add salt and pepper as needed.

Serve with spaghetti…or whatever you like!

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