Ever since I discovered that Parmesan cheese is made with rennet (an enzyme extracted from the stomach of calves), we have completely scrapped Parmesan cheese from the children’s diets. My pesto recipe contains no Parmesan cheese and is a suitable choice for both vegetarians and vegans. Not only that, but it is highly nutritious and delicious.
In addition to Parmesan cheese, the authentic Pesto sauce contains toasted pine nuts. I often use toasted cashews or walnuts rather than the pine nuts because that is usually what I have in my pantry. You may experiment with different nuts for a variety in flavour.
Mixed Greens and Basil Pesto RECIPE
- 1 cup mixed spinach and kale
- 1 cup fresh basil
- 2/3 cup toasted cashews (or pine nuts, walnuts, etc.)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 Tbsp. dry roasted, salted pumpkin seeds
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- Toast the nuts in a dry pan on medium heat until golden brown and fragrant. Stir often to prevent burning. Once toasted, let cool to room temperature.
- Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth. If a thinner and smoother consistency is preferred, add more olive oil.
- Enjoy the pesto mixed into pasta, on toast, or even on top of grilled salmon.
NOTE: Try adding 1 Tbsp. of nutritional yeast in place of a cheesy taste.