Basil, basil, and more basil! When a basil plant decides to take hold it really pumps it out. So, I schedule a few minutes each day to go out and cut the flowering basil tops, to keep the plant going all summer long. Which winds me up with a lot of extra basil hanging around the kitchen. Here is a great sweet-meets-savory idea for a lazy afternoon salad, with vegan hazelnut pesto as the star of the show. You can also do a non vegan version of this by using parmesan or another hard aged cheese in place of the nutritional yeast. Enjoy!
vegan hazelnut pesto with mango & avocado slices
2 cups tightly packed fresh basil
1/2 cup raw hazelnuts
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 fresh mango, split, peeled and cut into slices
1 fresh avocado, seeded, peeled and cut into slices
In a food processor, combine the basil, hazelnuts and garlic. Pulse until the mixture is ground into a coarse meal or paste. Add the oil, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast. Add salt and pepper to taste. Continue pureeing in the food processor until it reaches the desired pesto-like consistency. Set aside.
Arrange the avocado slices and mango slices on four plates. Place a spoonful of pesto on each plate. Garnish with extra basil leaves or edible flowers. Store leftover pesto for later in refrigerator or freezer.
Check out more pesto recipes on this blog!