I love Pesto, but I don’t love feeling like a grease bucket after eating a tiny scoop. I also don’t love the taste of most vegan store-bought pesto, so I’ve done a lot of experiments making my own. Ladies and Gents, I have a winner! Adapted from Fat Free Vegan, I give to you the most amazing pesto you’ll ever try. It works well as a sauce for pasta and whatnot, but is also fantastic as a dip or spread. I had some for breakfast spread on a gluten free waffle with a poached egg, avocado, and sautéed spinach. Damn. So good.
There are many things I like about this recipe. First, instead of using oil, I used roasted eggplant, which gives the sauce a creamy consistency without being heavy and greasy. Plus, eggplants are full of powerful antioxidants, phytonutrients, potassium, magnesium, and folate. I also love that pine nuts are not involved in any way to make this. I don’t know why but I really hate hate hate pine nuts, so if you are with me on that one, you will love this recipe too! Lastly, I like that there are no creepy vegan cheese products necessary to make this. Just 100% whole, delicious food!
Eggplant Pesto (Gluten Free, Vegan), adapted from Fat Free Vegan
- 1 medium eggplant
- 1/4 cup blanched almond slivers, soaked in water
- 3-4 sun dried tomatoes (not the ones packaged in oil)
- 2-3 cup basil leaves, depending on how strong you like the basil flavor to be
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tsp. cilantro or parsley
- Optional: Almond milk as needed to make the sauce more liquid
1. Before you begin, soak the almond slivers in water for at least 2 hours.
2. Slice up the eggplant, drizzle it with a little bit of olive oil and roast it for about 30 minutes at 450. You want it to be mushy but cooked enough to take away the bitterness.
3. Once roasted, remove eggplant from oven and blend everything together in a food processor. That’s it! If you want a liquid-y consistency, just add some almond (or other non-dairy) milk.
(Photo via Mediterrasian)