Roasted Vegan Zucchini Pesto Dip

You can use this pesto for basically anything you would use regular pesto for. It tastes great as a bread spread, in a pasta salad or with some chopped up vegetables and used as a dip. This is a staple for me when making (gluten-free) pasta salad, and if I am in a time-crunch and need to make a fast yet tasty dinner I just cook up brown rice pasta, dry-roast whatever vegetables I have in the fridge (personal favorites are: mushrooms, asparagus, zucchini, sun dried tomatoes and broccoli) and serve along with leaf spinach and of course the pesto.

Ingredients, makes one medium bowl:

  • 1 medium zucchini/squash
  • 2 medium sized garlic cloves
  • 2 sundried tomatoes (not oil-packed)
  • 27g (1 ounce) almonds, walnuts OR roasted pine kernels (preferably soaked in water for 2+ hours )
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1-2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • A squeeze lemon juice (optional)
  • Salt (and pepper) to taste

Directions:

  • Heat up a non-stick pan at high temperature and roast thinly sliced zucchini on both sides until they turn a deep brown.
  • Blend together the sun dried tomatoes, garlic cloves, and soaked nuts using a blender/food processor. So far I have only used almonds and pine kernels, but I think walnuts will work just as good. If you use almonds they should be covered in water in a bowl and soaked for at least 2 hours, whereas the pine kernels or walnuts can be used right away without any soaking.
  • Add in the zucchini and blend until smooth. Start adding in the basil leaves, tasting as you do so until you are satisfied and then add the nutritional yeast. If you do not have nutritional yeast you can probably substitute it for 1 tsp vegan vegetable stock powder or just skip it altogether.
  • Taste when adding salt, freshly ground black pepper and (optionally) a bit lemon juice.

When eating this with pasta you can add approx. 1 tbsp per serving of pasta, simply by adding it after the pasta is cooked and drained of water. This can probably stay fresh for up to one-two weeks in the fridge if stored in an airtight container.

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