I go through phases with pesto. It kind of falls off my radar and then I make it again and realise just how much I love it. It’s such a versatile little condiment – you can eat it raw on crackers or on top of salads, stir it through cooked dishes, baste your fish, add it to scrambled eggs… it adds such a beautiful zesty flavour to everything. You won’t miss the cheese in this dairy-free version either; nutritional yeast is the most amazing substitute (though you can whack in the Parmesan instead if you want to!).
This pesto recipe is quite economical as it uses pumpkin seeds instead of pine nuts, which I have found are usually at a considerably lower price point (so you can afford to get the organic ones too). It also means that it’s conveniently nut-free as well as dairy-free, perfect for those with allergies and/or intolerances.
Vegan Roasted Pumpkin Seed Pesto
- 1 bunch basil - about 60 grams
- 1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley - about 30 grams
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 lemon
- 2-3 cloves garlic depending on size
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 180 C.
- Spread the pumpkin seeds over a large oven tray and roast (no oil) for 10-15 minutes until they brown just a little, then remove and allow to cool.
- Remove the thick stems from the parsley and the basil. Peel the garlic cloves.
- Place the basil, parsley, oil, seeds, garlic, nutritional yeast and salt into your food processor. Squeeze in the juice of the lemon. Then, process until you have a consistency that you like - I like to keep mine a little chunky.