Arugula Pesto Spread – Made with cashews and nutritional yeast. Use this vegan pesto recipe in a pasta dinner or as a sandwich spread. It is a lighter version with less oil
That is what my friend used to like calling pesto that can be made in ten minutes. That alliterative phrase always comes to mind when I see pesto anywhere. Anything that takes less than 10 minutes deserves an alliterative phrase of its own, right?
Pesto recipes made without basil as the core of the recipe have always captured my imagination. My tomato pesto recipe is so perfect in pasta. Last year, I made cilantro pesto and it is the best way to use up cilantro that would otherwise go bad. I have found that there are very few herbs or vegetables that cannot be turned into pesto.
Lately, I am finding that I prefer my pesto sauces to be on the lighter side. In this recipe, I added about 1/3 of the normal oil and there is no Parmesan. When you taste it, you won’t find a huge taste difference in this recipe. I really like how it tasted with cashews and nutritional yeast.
Since I intend to use this in a sandwich, I decided to make it on the spicy side. I added Thai chili to the recipe because it would enhance the flavor of the sandwich. If you intend to use it in a pasta recipe, then decrease the chili amount or not use it altogether.
You can always substitute pine nuts instead of cashews in this arugula pesto, but, why would you? 🙂 The cashews are a good way to add texture to it and that works great when put in a sandwich.
What is your favorite pesto ingredient?
Arugula Pesto Spread
1) In a food processor, add 1/2 cup of split cashews. Use unsalted cashews which are easy to find in Indian grocery stores or Warehouse stores
2) Add 1 tsp of nutritional yeast and process on low speed until it is roughly chopped
3) For this recipe, I used 2 cups of arugula. However, I added it to the food processor in 4 portion. Once each portion was partially processed, add the next batch.
4) After adding the last portion of the arugula, add 1 tsp of salt, 2 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and 1 Thai chili. Blend everything until it is smooth.
Transfer to a glass bottle and store. It will stay refrigerated for about 2 weeks.