While we definitely don’t get hung up on any one type of diet around here, we know our members have a lot of different dietary concerns so we try to test recipes for everyone! We’ve been mixing up all kinds of pestos in our food processor, but most of them use cheese. For this completely vegan, paleo friendly batch we used sunflower seeds and tahini for creaminess. The results were fantastic and a side by side taste test found them to be pretty close in flavor! I like to use sunflower seeds in pesto, they’re inexpensive and nut-allergy friendly. Pine nuts as well as other nuts and seeds can be substituted. Wash and thoroughly dry your basil, I always use a salad spinner it makes quick work of this task.
Toast the sunflower seeds in a dry skillet on the stove.
Mince the garlic in the food processor, and then pulse together the tahini and sunflower seeds.
Add the basil to the bowl, and process while streaming in the oil. When the mixture is combined add lemon, and salt + pepper to taste. Basil pesto keeps in the fridge for up to five days, and longer in the freezer. Serve with fresh veggies as a dip, spread over grilled fish or chicken, or mixed into salads.
Paleo Pesto (basil bunches vary in size, so for a smaller bunch half recipe)
4 cups basil, washed and dried
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons tahini
juice from 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic
salt + pepper to taste
Mince the garlic, process alone in food processor. Add toasted sunflower seeds and tahini, pulse together. Add basil leaves, and stream in oil while processing. Add lemon juice, then salt + pepper to taste.