Apr 222015

Spaghetti Fork

I LOVE this stuff. Pesto from the supermarket costs a small fortune. I admit to buying it once, just to see if it was that much better than this version, and I gotta say, my cheap-o version is heads and tails above the stuff you get in a jar. Plus mine costs a fraction of the price and can be made from ingredients I keep in my pantry.

Most homemade pesto recipes call for fresh basil, which I admit is very tasty. But a tiny package of fresh basil, literally no bigger than my hand, costs $4! An equivalent amount of dry basil is 25¢! I am not paying 16-times as much money for fresh basil. That is absolutely ridiculous.

If you really want fresh basil then grow your own in a flower pot in a sunny window. Then you can make all the fresh basil pesto you want, without paying a small fortune for the pleasure. Meanwhile, I’ll stick to the dried stuff because I can afford to use it as lavishly as I like.

If you eat dairy, then use Parmesan cheese to make your pesto. If you don’t eat dairy, then use Nutritional Yeast, which adds a lovely cheesy flavor while remaining dairy-free. If you’ve made your own Vegan Parmesan Cheese then you may use it, 2 or 3-tablespoons, in place of the Nutritional Yeast.

Pantry Pesto

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil OR olive oil (part each is fine too)
  • 2 tablespoons dry basil (that’s right, tablespoons)
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons fresh minced garlic OR 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dry parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or sunflower seeds
  • 2 tablespoons Nutritional Yeast OR 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Put all of the ingredients into a blender. Process until mostly smooth.

Or put all of the ingredients into a bowl and process with a sturdy hand-held blender.

Or put all of the ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth.

Or put the nuts into a large mortar and mash with a pestle, gradually adding the other ingredients and continuing to mash until you get a nice emulsified mixture.

Or put all of the ingredients into a bowl and mash with a fork. This will not be as smooth as the other methods, but still makes a tasty finished dish.

Serve over fish or chicken, pasta, rice, sliced tomatoes or even spread on muffins or other hot bread. Easy to make and adds a lot of zip to bland foods.

Makes 6 servings.

Per Serving: 215 Calories; 22g Fat (90.1% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 2g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 3mg Cholesterol; 242mg Sodium.

Exchanges: 1/2 Lean Meat; 4 Fat.

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