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Vegan Pesto

Makes 250g

Prep time: 10 minutes

It’s a really simple sauce but it’s almost universally popular and so versatile! Use it as a pizza topping, in wraps or sandwiches, add to salad dressings or swirl through mayonnaise or dips like humous, toss through vegetables before roasting them or spread on protein before baking it; chicken, tofu or shellfish all work well. Remember, pesto is highly customisable, try replacing the basil with a different herb, wild garlic, watercress or coriander are great choices, or change the pine nuts to toasted walnuts or hazelnuts. I used the hemp parmesan from the brand ‘Pimp My Salad’ but if you want to make the traditional version just replace this with normal parmesan.


150g basil

45g parmesan alternative - pimp my salad

Zest of 1 and juice of 2 lemons

2 garlic cloves

60g pine nuts

150g extra virgin olive oil (you may not need it all)


  1. Toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan over a medium heat. Toss or stir regularly so that they don’t turn black on one side but turn golden brown.

  2. Roughly tear the basil leaves and stems and put them into a food processor, along with the peeled garlic cloves, the lemon juice and zest and the parmesan alternative. Pulse for 30 seconds until everything is roughly chopped.

  3. Add all but one tablespoon of the pine nuts and run the food processor on a fairly low speed whilst you drizzle in the olive oil until it reaches a consistency you like; I like mine quite loose.

  4. Taste and season accordingly. It usually doesn’t need much salt but depending on the parmesan alternative you are using it might need a little.

  5. Decant into a shallow bowl and sprinkle with the remaining toasted pine nuts



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