It’s getting hotter so it’s time for some dinners that don’t take all day to cook. When I get tired of salads I always turn to a quick pasta. Last night I tossed it with some Quick and Easy Fresh Oregano Vegan Pesto.
I’m lucky that one of my stove burners has a quick boil setting, so the water’s ready for the pasta before I know it. We also have a burner on the grill, but it’s so hot on the deck around dinner time that I haven’t used it yet. Maybe this will be the year we finally try it.
You can make pesto out of just about any herb. Basil is the traditional way to go and I love using lemon basil from my garden to give it a twist.
This year I planted a smaller amount of herbs, so I don’t have the wide variety of basils that I usually do. However, I have a giant pot of oregano that thrived over the cold winter much better than I ever thought it would. I’ve been giving it away as gifts, drying some of it for cold weather, and I still have tons of it to use. That’s why I chose to make a pesto from it.
Nutritional yeast gives this pesto a cheesy flavor and pecans give it a slightly smoky flavor that complements the flavor of the fresh oregano.
If you don’t have any pecans in your pantry, feel free to substitute for another nut, maybe even sunflower seeds.
When making a pesto I like to use my small food processor. My large food processor and my blender are not great tools for small amounts like this.
If you don’t have a small food processor, you can double or triple the recipe. It will freeze, although it will change color a bit. You can cover the top with a thin layer of olive oil to keep the color from changing in the fridge or freezer.
Serves: ¼ cup
- 1 cup fresh oregano leaves (removed from the stems)
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- ¼ cup pecans (or substitute nut of your choice)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- ¼ teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon salt or to taste
- Add all the ingredients to a small food processor and process until it's mostly smooth, but has some tiny pieces of nuts in it for some texture.
- Serve over pasta, mixed in a dip or layered in lasagna.
- I used 2 tablespoons of the pesto mixed with ¼ cup pasta cooking water tossed with ½ pound cooked pasta. This will feed 2. Double to serve 4.