"It's Celebration Time" Creamy Pesto
The husband and I ate all of this the same day I made it. We first ate the pesto with Wheat Thins as an afternoon snack. Later that night we dipped into the pesto again with fettuccini and *Gardein meatballs*. Oh, and if you haven't had the Gardein meatballs, well... you are missing out. The husband and I love them. Pick them up if you can. Wegman's has them and so does Trader Joe's.
Next time I will clearly need to make double this amount of pesto so that I have some to use a second day. Usually, I make a standard style pesto. I'm not sure what inspired me to go for a creamy version but based on the way it disappeared, I'm going to say that it was a hit in our house. I really love basil and grow it all year long. I even bought a greenhouse this spring so that I could grow TONS of basil outside for a longer part of the year :-) I've been freezing it in batches to make tomato sauce and pesto during winter. I will never run out of basil!
In this recipe I use cashews in place of the typical Pine nuts. Pine nuts are really expensive. Not that cashews aren't but they are a bit more economical than Pine nuts. And, since I use soaked cashews, it really helps to up the creaminess factor of the final product. Pine nuts don't do that... If you're not into cashews you can certainly use another nut. Walnuts work really well too, but you'll want to soak them as well to help up that creaminess factor.
4 packed cups of basil leaves (about 2.25 ounces)
1/2 cup olive oil + 1/4 cup additional
3 Tbs nutritional yeast
1 tsp Kala Namak
1/2 cup soaked cashews (at least 4-5 hours, but overnight is best)
1/4 cup almond milk
Once you've cut the leaves from the stems of the basil plant put all the leaves into a food processor along with the 1/2 cup of olive oil, nutritional yeast and salt.
Start the food processor on low and pulse it so that the oil doesn't slosh out from the seams between the bowl and lid. Once the 1/2 cup of oil is incorporated in the leaves you can add in the soaked cashews and the additional 1/4 cup of olive oil.
Whir that food processor around until the cashews and oil are totally broken down. Then add in the almond milk and incorporate as well. If the food processor is struggling with the cashews you can add in the almond milk at this step to help get the cashews incorporated.