This pesto is a dairy-free, vegan spin on traditional basil pesto that gets a boost of nutrients from hemp seeds. Traditional pesto is made up of basil, pine nuts, olive oil, garlic and Parmesan cheese. It’s bright, pungent and can easily be the shining star or play a supporting role in an endless variety of dishes. This hemp seed basil pesto keeps a similar flavour profile of traditional basil pesto but with the substitution of hemp seeds for the pine nuts and omission of the Parmesan cheese. The recipe gives you the option of nutritional yeast to impart that cheesy, umami flavour but if it is not one of your pantry staples, it is not essential.
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1⁄4 cup hemp seeds
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic
(optionally) 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1⁄4 tsp good quality salt
Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend to the consistency of smooth paste. You may have to stop blending and scrape down the sides one or more times.
Serve with freshly cooked pasta of choice, sprinkled with some extra hemp seeds.
Put leftover pesto in a jar and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.