So we harvested our first batch of basil to make pesto. We ended up having way more basil than we needed for one batch so we are going to make another variety or two and freeze it… I’ll post the varieties once they are done.
Our basil included spicy globe basil, genovese basil, thai basil, and purple basil. They were all flowering so we used both the leaves and the flowers. We also threw in a sprig of fresh oregano.
Vegan pesto is ridiculously easy and only requires basil, garlic, olive oil, nutritional yeast flakes, and nuts. We used a mixture of pistachio and pine nuts. The pistachio nuts do change the texture to making it a bit more chunky than creamy but it’s still pretty amazing!
We food processed one clove of garlic from our crop share and added the basil, nuts, yeast flakes, and oil. (~1.5 cups nuts, ~1/2 cup yeast flakes, ~1/4-1/2 cup oil, and ~2-3 cups fresh basil). These are all estimates; you just add some and taste it as you go. Also fresh garlic is way more pungent that store garlic.
We ate the pesto over gluten free fresh local rigatoni pasta with sautéed mushrooms, onions, garlic, and yellow pear tomatoes (all the veggies were local too!). The pasta was incredible. You would never have known it was gluten free by the taste or texture! We used maitake and shiitake mushrooms bought from the farmers market and they were the perfect compliment to the pesto. The shiitake caps were medium sized so I left them whole and chopped the maitake somewhat large so neither would get lost in the dish.