Vegan Pesto

We are trying to cut down on dairy this week, especially since Logan has had a touch of the crud that’s going around, with congestion.  I had a craving for pesto tonight, and was trying to figure out what to substitute for the cheese… the answer is, you don’t need to substitute something for cheese, just make the pesto flavorful and interesting, and you won’t miss the cheese!

3 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro
3/4 C. toasted pecans (toast in dry frying pan or oven)
1/4 C. roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds
1/2 C. sun-dried tomatoes
1 1/4 C. fresh basil, removed from stems
1 roasted green chili, skin and seeds removed
1 tsp. fresh chives
1 tsp. fresh oregano
1 Tbsp. flat leaf parsley 
2 Tbsp. very hot water (I used water from the pasta pot)
Sea salt and ground pepper to taste
1/2 C. olive oil

Pesto is super-easy to make.  I put everything in my Ninja Blender (you could also use a food processor or a VitaMix Blender, although I’m not sure if a regular blender would work) and pulse until everything is chopped, and has a paste-like consistency.  The word pesto actually means “paste.”  The hot water helps everything combine harmoniously.  

Combine with your favorite cooked pasta, or spread on toasted baguette slices.

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