Wednesday, April 22, 2009

HALF-ASSED RECIPE: Pesto Manifesto

Hear-ye, hear –ye! I do, on this day, publicly proclaim that we are no longer shackled to basil-centric pesto sauces! We are free to incorporate an infinite arrangement of ingredients in order to incite culinary inspiration! We are no longer fettered to the…huh? What's that? Oh, you already knew this? You say you saw it in my Pumpkin Soup episode, where I topped my soup off with a bit of non-basil pesto? O.K. well, here’s a variation, smart ass.

As usual, it’s stuff I have in my fridge that I need to use up, and all measurements are approximate:

½ cup baby spinach (packed tight)
½ cup arugula (packed tight)
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup cashews
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp fake parmesan
some cherry tomatoes (halved)
your pasta of chioce
salt/pepper to taste

Super easy, this one. While the pasta’s cooking (I used rice spaghetti), add everything except the oil and tomatoes to your food processor/blender. Pulse it a couple times to start blending it together. Begin to slowly add the oil and ramp it up to full puree mode. When you have that pesto-ish consistency, stop adding the oil (you may not need it all, or you may need more…”half-assed recipe,” remember?).

When the pasta’s done cooking, drain it, give it a shake, and put it right into a mixing bowl while it’s still hot. Toss in a couple spoonfuls of the pesto, some cashew pieces and the fresh tomatoes. Combine it all, gently, and serve it up.

Oh, and the fake parmesan: just blend equal parts nutritional yeast, and almonds, and some salt to taste in the food processor. I usually do a cup of each and keep it on hand at all times. Got that one from this guy. His videos are in German, but he has an English section on his site. Seems like a cool dude.

Anyway, what you should learn here is that there are endless combos of greens, herbs, seeds, and nuts that you can use for your pesto sauce. Here are the general rules, in an easy to remember poem format:

"Something green,
Something olive oil,
Something garlic,
And something nut,
Makes you something very…oh and fake parmesan too…
you can’t forget…um…thut."



  1. Although your poetry seems to be missing something, your food doesn't. Good job, sexy vegan.

    Hey, how long have you been vegan?

    Some poetry for ya':

    Add some green
    Yep, that's what I mean
    Drizzle some EVOO
    Not that much, whoa!
    Add some garlic
    So you won't get sick
    Throw in a nut
    Cashews will make the cut
    Don't forget fake parmesan
    Now that's cookin', mon!

  2. Hahahaha...Yes, I think I'll outsource any future poetry work to're a natural! I've been vegan for 2 years 7 months. There was no lacto-ovo-pescaterian transition period. Just flipped the switch from omni to vegan one day, and that was it. How 'bout yourself?

  3. Yes, I shall write all of your poetry going forward. Remember that. : )

    How on earth did you switch from omni to vegan just like that? I've tried going vegetarian multiple times and after about two days, I get incredibly weak. I don't get it. Grr.

  4. It didn't affect me at all, really. I was surprised! I'm lucky enough to work for a vegan food delivery service, so bringing the extra food home, made it really easy to get well balanced, nutrient rich meals during my first couple of weeks. If you eat a variety of veggies, leafy greens, whole grains and fruit, your energy will actually increase quite a bit...that's what happened with me anyway. Give it another shot.

  5. Hmm well here's my other problem. I have a super sensitive stomach and if I eat a salad or a bowl of veggies, I have "issues". So basically I subsist on a bunch of carbs and dairy when I try to go vegetarian. That could explain the weakness, now that I think about it. Eh, maybe someday I'll have an iron stomach built and implanted. Whoo hoo!