Monday, September 07, 2009

Pot-Luck Pesto (vegan style)

We headed to a pot luck last night. A real pot luck. No theme. No advanced warnings. No sign up sheets. The possibility that we would get there to find a table full of green salads crossed our minds, but I had a pretty good feeling we'd have pretty good luck.

This is what I intended to bring:
Almond Pest Spirals topped with Cherry Tomatoes
Multi-grain Sourdough Bread
Blueberry Pie

I actually left the tomatoes and bread on the counter, which really bummed me out, but we pressed on and figured we could enjoy all the tomatoes ourselves...without sharing.

The almond pesto has been a favorite dinner lately and is a recipe I made up using almonds instead of pine nuts. Why almonds? Because I keep raw almonds around to snack on and throw in oatmeal. I have to admit to not really caring for pine nuts, hating walnuts, and only tolerating roasted peanuts a few at a time. Almonds however are my friend and they make a nice base for a vegan pesto. Almonds seem to have a creamy flavor which makes me not miss the cheese at all. They also pack some protein (albeit not that much) into this carb-tastic meal.

Pack into a food processor:
1/3 Cup of toasted almonds
30 -40 basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1-2 Tbs of olive oil
fresh ground pepper to taste

-Pulse your pesto into a paste in the food processor. Add a bit more oil if you need you loosen it up a bit, but it should be paste-like.

-Cook your pasta in salted water. I like whole a whole wheat penne or fuscilli. Reserve a 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

-Drain the pasta and then transfer to a large bowl.

-Add the pesto to the bowl and mix into the pasta. Add some of the pasta water as needed to loosen up the pesto and get a good coating over the noodles.

-Top with quartered cherry tomatoes and sprinkle with a bit of balsamic vinegar.


hows yr edge said...

It should be noted that there was plenty of good food at this party. In fact, the big hit was a huge pizza (not vegan friendly, sadly). Blueberry pie and apple pie were HITS in my book.

Melissa said...

oh yes- the end result of said pot luck was that everyone ate a TON of good food - including that pizza and the 3 apple pies made by my mom and The Nana